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How mathematics can be used to solve biological problems

November 1, 2017, 4:00 PM
Bloomer Auditorium

Diana White, PhD
Assistant Professor, Mathematics
Clarkson University

Dr. White is a mathematical biologist who uses mathematical models as a tool to solve biology-focused research questions.

During the half-past century, a new field of science called Mathematical Biology has emerged, where questions at the interface between Mathematics, Biology, and related disciplines are explored. Many areas of Biology have been explored using math models, from small-scale problems related to intracellular dynamics, to large-scale problems related to animal movement and migration. Here, I will describe some of the successes in Mathematical Biology, and describe new work related to understanding invasive watermilfoil (IWM) growth and control. In particular, I will propose a mathematical model to study a sustainable management strategy for IWM, which includes the use of a biological control, the milfoil weevil (Euhrychiopsis Lecontei). We show how in the absence of weevils, IWM can grow to undesirable levels. Further, using numerical simulations, we show the effects of different weevil augmentation scenarios on IWM growth.