M*A*T*H Colloquium: A Data-Driven Approach to Prediction and Management in Ecology

Feb 15, 2023 , 4:00pm
Math & Statistics Department

Bethany Johnson, UC Santa Cruz

Humans depend on natural ecosystems on a global scale, so it is important to establish robust methods for management in ecology. We will explore one example of a space where reliable management is needed: insect pest control. Some insect species pose a threat to humans by jeopardizing food security in agricultural systems, acting as vectors for infectious diseases, and damaging forests and other ecosystems. Despite decades of research, effective management remains challenging. Incomplete knowledge of the mechanisms that drive population dynamics makes it difficult to develop accurate models for outbreaks, so control actions are often applied once outbreaks have already begun—too late to prevent significant damage. We will see how a data-driven approach called empirical dynamic modeling can effectively predict outbreaks, circumventing the need to understand the underlying ecosystem dynamics, and how optimal control theory can be used with the data-driven model to keep insect populations within acceptable bounds of tolerance. Finally, we will explore applications to ecosystems beyond insects.


Zoom Link for Spring 2023 M*A*TH Colloquium Talks (Zoom will open at approximately 3:45 before each talk)

The M*A*T*H Colloquium is our weekly public lecture series. Talks are on Wednesdays at 4:00 p.m. in Darwin 103 and on Zoom; see link above (first four talks are on Zoom only). Maps to and of campus are available. A parking permit is required to park on campus, and is available for $5.00 at machines in the parking lots. Talks are otherwise free.

The M*A*T*H Colloquium has been in operation during every semester since Fall, 1974. See below for previous posters.

Sonoma State University
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February 15, 2023
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