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COMPLEX TIME: Adaptation, Aging, & Arrow of Time

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Contact: Caitlin Lorraine McShea, Program Manager,

Population and the Environment: Analytical Demography and Applied Population Ethics/Co-evolution of population and environment - environment, food supply & demography

From Complex Time

October 16, 2018
1:45 pm - 2:30 pm


Charlotte Lee (Duke Univ.)


Due to tight coupling between human population dynamics and their local environments, preindustrial societies—particularly ones on islands--are useful for studying population-environment interaction.  In Hawai’i, rapid human population growth and sophisticated social stratification took place before European contact, in the context of sometimes extreme environmental variability.  These phenomena define questions, inform the structure of quantitative models, and guide the development of further hypotheses regarding how environment and population interact. I describe how agroecological and environment-dependent demographic models can be developed and integrated to probe the environment-population dynamics of a dryland field system, and to investigate the consequences and possible causes of social complexity. Results suggest that dynamic incorporation of social change could be an important component of studying population-environment interactions.    

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