Ecology, Mathematics, Data Science

 

Maintaining Earth's biodiversity

In the Melbourne lab we use mathematics and computational algorithms to figure out how best to maintain biodiversity. We also do experiments and collect data to test and verify our theoretical models. Central questions include how species will respond to climate change, why species go extinct, and how invasive species spread.

A more technical description: Our research is in the broad field of theoretical ecology. We study the spatio-temporal dynamics of ecological populations and communities by developing mathematical models and connecting these models to data. We're particularly interested in how processes such as competition, predation, and spatial spread interact with spatial and temporal variation in the environment and by randomness intrinsic to individuals. Heterogeneity and stochasticity (a fancy word for randomness) are the technical keywords. We work with stochastic models and use likelihood, Bayesian, and machine learning approaches to connect models to data.