Charles R. Doering, Department of Mathematics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
“Features of fast living: On the weak selection for longevity in degenerate birth-death processes”

Deterministic descriptions of dynamics of competing species with identical carrying capacities but distinct birth, death, and reproduction rates predict steady state coexistence with population ratios depending on initial conditions. Demographic fluctuations described by a Markovian birth-death model break this degeneracy. A novel large carrying capacity asymptotic theory confirmed by conventional analysis and simulations reveals a weak preference for longevity in the deterministic limit with finite-time extinction of one of the competitors on a time scale proportional to the total carrying capacity. This work is in colloboration with Yen Ting Lin and Hyejin Kim, J. Stat. Phys. 148, 646-662 (2012).