Monday, 15 May 2017

BioMaths Colloquium - 19/05/2017

BioMaths Colloquium Series - 2016/17

19 May 2017 - 3pm Maths Seminar Room

(room 224 Talbot Building 2nd floor)

Simple models in a world of Big Data

Dr Jon Pitchford

(Departments of Biology and Mathematics,University of York, UK) 

Photo by: Cedric Guigand

Our BioMaths Colloquium Series for the spring term continues with a seminar by Dr Jon Pitchford from the Departments of Biology and Mathematics at the University of York (UK). Jon is  Senior Lecturer, interested in finding new ways to model and quantify dynamical systems which cannot be dealt with simple deterministic systems - as is the case for many biological systems. Examples range from animal behaviour (competition, foraging, group movements) to population dynamics (plankton) to natural resource management (spatial planning, evolutionary stable fisheries management, terrestrial carbon dynamics, impacts of wind farms) to kitchen sinks (you will have to ask Jon about the latter though!) and his publications are wide ranging (see here).

Technology, and the ability to generate vast volumes of data, has revolutionised Biology. This data deluge is meaningless without a logical framework to help us interpret it. The need for careful, and sometimes very simple, mathematics is greater than ever. 
Photo by

I will discuss some exploratory evolutionary models for the stochastic 
foraging of fish larvae in search of patchy plankton prey. I will then show how these ideas can be translated towards practical impacts in human health. Leishmaniasis is neglected tropical disease which kills tens of thousands of people annually. By applying the patchy plankton paradigm, together with detailed imaging and cell biology, we have been able to identify new mechanisms for disease transmission which could be important in treatment and eradication programmes.

The discussions will continue over biscuits and tea/coffee after the seminar. 
Hope to see many of you!

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