Modelling populations expanding in a spatial continuum

Spatial Λ-Fleming Viot processes, or SLFVs, are a family of models describing the evolution of genetic diversity for populations living in a spatial continuum. Their main characteristic is their “event-based” reproduction dynamics, which makes it possible to control local reproduction rates. Therefore, they are particularly suited to the study of populations living in unbounded regions.
In this talk, I will introduce a family of SLFV processes, called k-parent SLFVs, which were developed to model spatially expanding populations. I will present what is currently known of the growth properties of the occupied area in k-parent SLFVs. Of particular interest is the growth dynamics of the limiting process when k→ +∞, which is reminiscent of continuous first-passage percolation but has distinct growth features. I will conclude with preliminary results obtained on the genetic diversity at the front edge.
Based on a joint work with Amandine Véber (MAP5, Univ. Paris Cité) and Matt Roberts (Univ. Bath).