Field of Study

Population Dynamics: Migration and Evolution of a Population on Two Continents

Bachelor Thesis

Abstract of the Bachelor Thesis:

This thesis introduces a model based on a cellular automaton that traces continental colonisation. The motivation for this work is the out-of-Africa theory, a model that attempts to describe hominin dispersal throughout the world. Two main scenarios were found in this thesis: Firstly, big groups of hominins that consume large amounts of resources have a very low chance of survival during migration to other continents that are not as hospitable as their continent of origin. Second, a larger number of small groups has a high chance of successfully occupying new habitats. This thesis also demonstrates that if the target area of migration was already inhabited, having technological or genetical superiority did not guarantee survival for the migrating group. Moreover, even if groups were in good starting position to settle on another continent, it would take them several attempts to migrate successfully, and the population would need an incentive, such as resource scarcity, to move. Looking at the results, this model provides a valuable insight into the behaviour of a migrating population and opens up various possibilities to further investigate the subject by introducing landscapes, climate, more complex population dynamics, or ecosystem interaction.