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Modeling Living Systems

From Cell to Ecosystem

Alain Pavé, University Claude Bernard, Lyon, France

ISBN: 9781848214231

Publication Date: October 2012   Hardback   640 pp.

245.00 USD

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Modeling is now one of the most efficient methodologies in life sciences. From practice to theory, this book develops this approach illustrated by many examples; general concepts and the current state of the art are also presented and discussed. An historical and general introduction informs the reader how mathematics and formal tools are used to solve biological problems at all levels of the organization of life. The core of this book explains how this is done, based on practical examples coming, for the most part, from the author’s personal experience. In most cases, data are included so that the reader can follow the reasoning process and even reproduce calculus. The final chapter is devoted to essential concepts and current developments. The main mathematical tools are presented in an appendix to the book and are written in an adapted language readable by scientists, professionals or students, with a basic knowledge of mathematics.


1. Methodology of Modeling in Biology and Ecology.
2. Functional Representations: Construction and Interpretation of Mathematical Models.
3. Growth Models – Population Dynamics and Genetics.
4. Models of the Interaction Between Populations.
5. Compartmental Models.
6. Complexity, Scales, Chaos, Chance and Other Oddities.
Appendix 1. Differential Equations.
Appendix 2. Recurrence Equations.
Appendix 3. Fitting a Model to Experimental Results.
Appendix 4. Introduction to Stochastic Processes.

About the Authors

Alain Pavé is Emeritus Professor at University Claude Bernard, Lyon, France. He was also Research Director at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), in charge of interdisciplinary research programs on the environment, and, in recent years, of the Amazon research program of the CNRS, as well as being in charge of the development of large-scale facilities in French Guiana. He is a biometrician, a specialist in the mathematical modeling of living systems. He has participated in the emergence and development of bioinformatics. Recently, his personal field of research has been devoted to theoretical ecology, and the theory of the dynamics of biodiversity. He has published around 140 scientific articles and books.


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