Biology Seminar: Lauren Shoemaker, PhD, "A Back and Forth Between Experiments and Modeling: Insights into Disease Dynamics, Bug Behavior, and Plant Patterning"

Dr. Shoemaker's lab studies how spatial structure, landscape heterogeneity, and movement patterns alter population dynamics and community stability. We apply mathematical techniques and tools from complex systems science to understand broad-scale patterns in diversity and species interactions. We aim to tie community ecology to restoration and conservation using a variety of field observations, microcosm experiments, and modeling approaches.

Seminar
Friday, Nov 22
4:10 pm
Biology 19

"A Back and Forth Between Experiments and Modeling: Insights into Disease Dynamics, Bug Behavior, and Plant Patterning"

Abstract: Historically, ‘muddy-boots experimentalists’ and ‘armchair theoreticians’ represented two distinct, non-overlapping categories of ecologists. Close integration of both ways of understanding the natural world are, however, becoming more common. Using three vignettes, my talk highlights exciting insights gained only through the back-and-forth between experiments and mathematical modeling, and a methodology for incorporating both ways of thinking. In the first vignette, I show how insect behavior experiments coupled with disease modeling can inform disease spread predictions for a generalist plant pathogen vectored by aphids. Next, I explore how landscape patterns—in particular the highly-organized fairy circles in the Namibian desert—result from both plant competition for limited water and herbivory patterns by zebra and oryx. Finally, I combine drought experiments with models of plant population dynamics to examine how plant diversity is maintained via natural environmental variation.

Student Lunch: Students are also invited to join Laruen Shoemkaer at noon on Friday before the afternoon seminar. Spots are limited, so early RSVPs are encouraged. RSVP here to join the student lunch.

Friday, November 22, 2019 at 4:10pm to 5:00pm

Biology, Biology 19
3203 Southeast Woodstock Boulevard, Portland, Oregon 97202-8199

Event Type

Lecture

Audience

Faculty, Students, Alumni, Open to the Public, Parents & Family, Staff, Prospective Students

Website

https://www.reed.edu/biology/seminars...

Department
Biology
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