In a new paper, Carlos, José, Jacopo, Kent and I tackle this simple problem: if we take a Lotka-Volterra system with random parameters, and let the dynamics elapse, how big will the final, persistent community be?
I am going to give a talk at the Italian Institute of Culture in Chicago on Feb 23, 2018 @ 7PM.
Rock-Paper-Scissors: what can children’s games teach us about biodiversity?
Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago
Friday, February 23, 2018 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM (CST)
500 N Michigan Ave., Suite 1450, Chicago, IL 60611
Biological networks show strong departures from simple models of random graphs. For example, they display broader degree distributions, high modularity, and strong preponderance of certain motifs.
One might be tempted to interpret these features as a signal of a selective force pruning the space of possible networks, resulting in empirical networks possessing certain features.
In one of my all-time favorite papers, Ricard Solé & Sergi Valverde proposed an alternative explanation: these features might be by-products of how the network was assembled. They dubbed this the “network-spandrel” hypothesis, referencing the famous paper by Gould & Lewontin.
In a new paper just published in Ecology Letters, Dan Maynard, Carlos Serván and I show a simple model of ecological assembly where by slightly tweaking the rules of assembly we can obtain dramatically different network structures—a paradigmatic case of network spandrels:
In a new paper published today in PNAS, Jacopo and I try to extract as much information as possible from an ostensibly meager source of data: a list of the names of all the researchers working in Italy, at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in France, and at public universities in the US.
We show that by using simple randomizations, one can highlight several interesting facts about these different academic systems.
The work is a bona fide exercise in style: by introducing subtle variations of the randomization algorithm, we show that in Italy researchers work in the region where they were born and raised, while in the US geography does not influence the distribution of researchers; in France, we can detect academic couples working in the same unit; we demonstrate that academic nepotism in Italy (the focus of a previous paper of mine) is declining; finally, we show that in the US immigration is field-specific.