Graduation Term


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Mathematics

Committee Chair

Olcay Akman


Reproductive skew is the name given to the unequal partitioning of breeding

within social groups. Within these groups a mating hierarchy emerges wherein one dominant mating pair holds an unproportional majority of the group's reproductive benefit, while other members mate infrequently, yet allocate energy and resources toward the offspring of the dominant group members. In this paper, we use an agent-based model, which mimics dwarf and banded mongoose populations, to investigate how reproductive skew aftects the speed natural selection, and thus how reproductive skew affects fitness. The results of the model show that due to the geometric structure of skewed breeding colonies, reproductive skew does increase the rate of natural selection. This result is consistent with the constructal law theory. Our results shed some light on skew theory and additionally have possible implications in conservation biology and artificial intelligence, through the genetic algorithm.


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