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SAMSI Mathematical and Statistical Ecology Opening Workshop

Event Dates: Monday  August 18 - Friday  August 22
City: Research Triangle Park   State: North Carolina   Country: USA
Event Type: Workshops & Seminars ASA Sponsored: No
Ecological modeling has developed in two quite different ways. On the one hand, theoretical ecologists develop mathematical models that are analyzed using traditional tools of applied mathematics, such as PDEs and dynamical systems. These models are then used to establish properties such as resilience (the ability of a system to withstand perturbations) or tipping points (conditions under which a system is transformed permanently into a new state). On the other hand, statisticians and data analysts have developed increasingly sophisticated statistical tools, such as Bayesian hierarchical models applied to large spatio-temporal datasets, but often without delatiled consideration of nonlinear dynamics. Statistical tools used by ecologists are often different from those used by statisticians and there is a need for a transfer of expertise in both directions. This program will bring together three groups of researchers - statisticians, mathematicians and theoretical ecologists - to study and develop the interactions among these different approaches. Many of the important issues are multi-scale, e.g. models developed based on their fine-scale behavior are then used to study large-scale behavior of the system. This in turn raises questions about model misspecification, model selection or model averaging, and uncertainty quantification. Finally there is the possibility if using statistical and mathematical tools for management of ecosystems and the formulation of public policy.
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