True interdisciplinary research is difficult to classify as belonging to one field or another. Many of the interesting research areas lie on the boundaries of our current research communities. By working on common interests biological and computational scientists can synergistically develop new forms of computation and models of biological phenomena.
Speciation is one of the most fundamental processes in evolutionary biology. This concept is largely unexplored and has yet to reach its full potential in artificial life, evolutionary computation, and evolutionary robotics investigations. Traditionally, speciation was mainly viewed as allopatric speciation. More recently, another mechanism of speciation has been studied that does not require geographic isolation.
This raises a number of interesting questions, some of which we are addressing in our simulation study. The first question is whether or not the existence of differences in resources will lead to divergence and speciation. Second, what is the role of female preferences? Would they potentially strengthen or weaken divergence?
Four hypotheses were formed and evaluated using the same experimental conditions in a simulated environment inspired by life on the Galapagos islands. In particular, the wet and dry season dynamics were modeled to produce the intense selection pressure found on the islands. Both large and small populations of seeds and hence large and small populations of birds were considered in our experiments.
Our results provide direct evidence for the proposed hypotheses. The most interesting case is when assortative mating is combined with uniform random seeds in which we found pseudo-speciation. With larger population sizes we found similar results with a reduced genetic drift component for the uniform seeds and assortative mating case.
In this dissertation we have addressed interesting questions related to mate selection in our ecological simulation and provided significant contributions with our work. By focusing on one phenotypic trait, we found that our simulated bird populations evolved specialized beaks for the food resources available and that sexual selection based on assortative mating was necessary for speciation. This research suggests to researchers in artificial life, evolutionary computation, and evolutionary robotics some of the mechanisms that may be utilized to foster artificial speciation.
|Advisor:||Hougen, Dean F.|
|Commitee:||Antonio, John K., Radhakrishnan, Sridhar, Ray, Thomas S., Schlupp, Ingo|
|School:||The University of Oklahoma|
|Department:||School of Computer Science|
|School Location:||United States -- Oklahoma|
|Source:||DAI-B 73/03, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Ecology, Evolution and Development, Computer science|
|Keywords:||Genetic drifts, Resource distribution, Sexual selection, Speciation|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be