Quantitative Analysis of Movement

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About the author:
Peter Turchin was trained as a theoretical biologist, but during the last fifteen years he has been working in the field of historical social science that he and his colleagues call Cliodynamics. His research interests lie at the intersection of sociocultural evolution, historical macrosociology, economic history and cliometrics, mathematical modeling of long-term social processes, and the construction and analysis of historical databases. More specifically, he investigates two broad and interrelated questions: what general mechanisms explain the collapse of historical empires? And how did large-scale states and empires evolve in the first place? What are the social forces that hold together huge human conglomerates, and under what conditions they fail? Turchin uses the theoretical framework of cultural multilevel selection to address these questions. Currently his main research effort is directed at coordinating SESHAT-a massive historical database of cultural evolution that will be used in empirical tests of theoretical predictions coming from various social evolution theories.

Turchin has published c.200 articles in peer-reviewed journals, including >10 in Nature, Science, and PNAS. His publications are frequently cited and in 2004 he was desginated as "Highly cited researcher" by ISIHighlyCited.com. Turchin has authored five books. The most recent include Secular Cycles (with Sergey Nefedov, Princeton, 2009), War and Peace and War (Plume, 2005), and Historical Dynamics: Why States Rise and Fall (Princeton, 2003).

Quantitative Analysis of Movement

Measuring and Modeling Population Redistribution in Animals and Plants

Authored by Peter Turchin

From the Back Cover:

"Peter Turchin's book is a classic in movement ecology and an authoritative synthesis that has retained its value over the years. What makes this book so special is the author's expertise in both field biology and theoretical ecology-the text is insightful in both directions. This is your best entry to the quantitative study of plant and animal movements."
-Ilkka Hanski, University of Helsinki

"The study of animal movement is one of the most exciting and salient areas of conservation biology and ecology. While data and theory have advanced enormously in the last twenty years, Peter Turchin's book is still the best place to go for one point of entry into quantitative approaches to movement and dispersal modeling. It still has no rivals."
-Peter Kareiva, the Nature Conservancy

"This book stands out for presenting a perspective that merges general theoretical models with approaches to estimating parameters from data. It continues to be a classic in the field."
-Elizabeth Crone, Tufts University

"If you are engaged in research exploring plant and animal movement, this book is essential. It is well written and informative from both practical and theoretical perspectives. It is a delight to have this reference. I recommend it wholeheartedly."
-Steven L. Peck, Ecology

Book Description

The spatial dimension-the interplay between environmental heterogeneity and individual movement-is an extremely important aspect of ecological dynamics. Ecologists are investing an enormous amount of effort in quantifying movement patterns of organisms. Connecting these data to general issues in metapopulation biology and landscape ecology, as well as to applied questions in conservation and natural resource management, however, is not a trivial task. One of the main impediments to a theoretical/empirical synthesis in the field of spatial ecology is a lack of a single source describing and systematizing quantitative methods for analyzing and modeling movement of organisms in the field.

The goal of Quantitative Analysis of Movement is to provide such a source for empirical ecologists interested in quantifying movement in an ecological context. But the book goes beyond a simple compendium of existing approaches. It presents a general and coherent framework for studying and modeling movement that melds together individual-based simulations, reaction-diffusion models, and empirical curve-fitting approaches. The quantitative approaches discussed in the book are extensively illustrated with case studies selected from a wide variety of organisms, including plants (seed dispersal, spatial spread of clonal plants), many kinds of insects (such as butterflies, beetles, and ants), and vertebrates (fish, birds, and mammals).

This book is aimed at active researchers and graduate students working in spatial ecology, including applications in conservation biology, pest control, and fisheries. Because analysis of movement patterns has to be approached with an explicit model, the text contains a significant mathematical component. However, all efforts have been made to make it not too intimidating to an empirical ecologist. In chapters directly focusing on data analysis mathematical details have been either placed in boxes or banished to the appendix. In addition, the appendix provides a popular account of the mathematical aspects of diffusion and random walks, models that are of particular relevance to modeling ecological movement. In general, the exposition of mathematical ideas assumes that readers have studied calculus at the college level, although some exposure to differential equations would be helpful.

Publication Date:
0996139508 / 9780996139502
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
6" x 9"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Science / Life Sciences / Ecology

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