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ASU Electronic Theses and Dissertations


This collection includes most of the ASU Theses and Dissertations from 2011 to present. ASU Theses and Dissertations are available in downloadable PDF format; however, a small percentage of items are under embargo. Information about the dissertations/theses includes degree information, committee members, an abstract, supporting data or media.

In addition to the electronic theses found in the ASU Digital Repository, ASU Theses and Dissertations can be found in the ASU Library Catalog.

Dissertations and Theses granted by Arizona State University are archived and made available through a joint effort of the ASU Graduate College and the ASU Libraries. For more information or questions about this collection contact or visit the Digital Repository ETD Library Guide or contact the ASU Graduate College at gradformat@asu.edu.


Date Range
2013 2018


A key factor in the success of social animals is their organization of work. Mathematical models have been instrumental in unraveling how simple, individual-based rules can generate collective patterns via self-organization. However, existing models offer limited insights into how these patterns are shaped by behavioral differences within groups, in part because they focus on analyzing specific rules rather than general mechanisms that can explain behavior at the individual-level. My work argues for a more principled approach that focuses on the question of how individuals make decisions in costly environments. In Chapters 2 and 3, I demonstrate how this approach provides ...

Contributors
Udiani, Oyita Udiani, Kang, Yun, Fewell, Jennifer H, et al.
Created Date
2016

The phycologist, M. R. Droop, studied vitamin B12 limitation in the flagellate Monochrysis lutheri and concluded that its specific growth rate depended on the concentration of the vitamin within the cell; i.e. the cell quota of the vitamin B12. The Droop model provides a mathematical expression to link growth rate to the intracellular concentration of a limiting nutrient. Although the Droop model has been an important modeling tool in ecology, it has only recently been applied to study cancer biology. Cancer cells live in an ecological setting, interacting and competing with normal and other cancerous cells for nutrients and space, ...

Contributors
Everett, Rebecca Anne, Kuang, Yang, Nagy, John, et al.
Created Date
2015

This work is an assemblage of three applied projects that address the institutional and spatial constraints to managing threatened and endangered (T & E) terrestrial species. The first project looks at the role of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in protecting wildlife and whether banning non–conservation activities on multi-use federal lands is socially optimal. A bioeconomic model is used to identify scenarios where ESA–imposed regulations emerge as optimal strategies and to facilitate discussion on feasible long–term strategies in light of the ongoing public land–use debate. Results suggest that banning harmful activities is a preferred strategy when valued species are in ...

Contributors
Salau, Kehinde Rilwan, Janssen, Marco A, Fenichel, Eli P, et al.
Created Date
2013

The closer integration of the world economy has yielded many positive benefits including the worldwide diffusion of innovative technologies and efficiency gains following the widening of international markets. However, closer integration also has negative consequences. Specifically, I focus on the ecology and economics of the spread of species and pathogens. I approach the problem using theoretical and applied models in ecology and economics. First, I use a multi-species theoretical network model to evaluate the ability of dispersal to maintain system-level biodiversity and productivity. I then extend this analysis to consider the effects of dispersal in a coupled social-ecological system where ...

Contributors
Shanafelt, David William, Perrings, Charles, Fenichel, Eli, et al.
Created Date
2016

In 1968, phycologist M.R. Droop published his famous discovery on the functional relationship between growth rate and internal nutrient status of algae in chemostat culture. The simple notion that growth is directly dependent on intracellular nutrient concentration is useful for understanding the dynamics in many ecological systems. The cell quota in particular lends itself to ecological stoichiometry, which is a powerful framework for mathematical ecology. Three models are developed based on the cell quota principal in order to demonstrate its applications beyond chemostat culture. First, a data-driven model is derived for neutral lipid synthesis in green microalgae with respect to ...

Contributors
Packer, Aaron, Kuang, Yang, Nagy, John, et al.
Created Date
2014

The immune system plays a dual role during neoplastic progression. It can suppress tumor growth by eliminating cancer cells, and also promote neoplastic expansion by either selecting for tumor cells that are fitter to survive in an immunocompetent host or by establishing the right conditions within the tumor microenvironment. First, I present a model to study the dynamics of subclonal evolution of cancer. I model selection through time as an epistatic process. That is, the fitness change in a given cell is not simply additive, but depends on previous mutations. Simulation studies indicate that tumors are composed of myriads of ...

Contributors
Chowell, Diego, Castillo-Chavez, Carlos, Anderson, Karen S, et al.
Created Date
2016

Predicting resistant prostate cancer is critical for lowering medical costs and improving the quality of life of advanced prostate cancer patients. I formulate, compare, and analyze two mathematical models that aim to forecast future levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA). I accomplish these tasks by employing clinical data of locally advanced prostate cancer patients undergoing androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). I demonstrate that the inverse problem of parameter estimation might be too complicated and simply relying on data fitting can give incorrect conclusions, since there is a large error in parameter values estimated and parameters might be unidentifiable. I provide confidence intervals ...

Contributors
Baez, Javier, Kuang, Yang, Kostelich, Eric, et al.
Created Date
2017

There has been important progress in understanding ecological dynamics through the development of the theory of ecological stoichiometry. This fast growing theory provides new constraints and mechanisms that can be formulated into mathematical models. Stoichiometric models incorporate the effects of both food quantity and food quality into a single framework that produce rich dynamics. While the effects of nutrient deficiency on consumer growth are well understood, recent discoveries in ecological stoichiometry suggest that consumer dynamics are not only affected by insufficient food nutrient content (low phosphorus (P): carbon (C) ratio) but also by excess food nutrient content (high P:C). This ...

Contributors
Peace, Angela Lynn, Kuang, Yang, Elser, James J, et al.
Created Date
2014

The most advanced social insects, the eusocial insects, form often large societies in which there is reproductive division of labor, queens and workers, have overlapping generations, and cooperative brood care where daughter workers remain in the nest with their queen mother and care for their siblings. The eusocial insects are composed of representative species of bees and wasps, and all species of ants and termites. Much is known about their organizational structure, but remains to be discovered. The success of social insects is dependent upon cooperative behavior and adaptive strategies shaped by natural selection that respond to internal or external ...

Contributors
Rodriguez Messan, Marisabel, Kang, Yun, Castillo-Chavez, Carlos, et al.
Created Date
2018