DEPARTMENT OF MATHEMATICAL & STATISTICAL SCIENCES
UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA
  

MATHEMATICAL BIOLOGY SEMINAR
 

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2002

3:00 PM

CAB 657
 

Dr. Peter Schofield

Biological Sciences
University of Dundee

Wolbachia Invasion Waves

 

Wolbachia has received increasing research attention in the last decade. It is an endosymbiont of arthropods that disrupts its host's reproduction to favour its own fitness. This talk provides a broad introduction to Wolbachia and examines two different spatial models of insect dispersal and infection spread and compares these with field data. Reaction-diffusion and integro-difference equation models are used to model the spatio-temporal spread of Wolbachia in Drosophila simulans populations. The models focus on cytoplasmic incompatibility between infected females and uninfected males that create a threshold density, similar to an Allee effect, preventing increase from low incidence of infection in the host population. The model builds on an earlier model [Turelli and Hoffmann 1991] by incorporating imperfect maternal transmission. The results of simulations of the models using the same parameter values produce different dynamics for each model. These differences become very marked in the integro-difference equation models when insect dispersal patterns are assumed to be non-gaussian.