CRM-Fields-PIMS Prize Lecture: Mark Lewis (University of Alberta)

  • Date: 04/11/2011
  • Time: 16:30

Mark Lewis (University of Alberta)


University of Alberta


The Mathematics Behind Biological Invasion Processes


Models for invasions track the front of an expanding wave of population density. They take the form of parabolic partial differential equations and related integral formulations. These models can be used to address questions ranging from the rate of spread of introduced invaders and diseases to the ability of vegetation to shift in response to climate change.


In this talk I will focus on scientific questions that have led to new mathematics and on mathematics that have led to new biological insights. I will investigate the mathematical and empirical basis for multispecies invasions, for accelerating invasion waves, and for nonlinear stochastic interactions that can determine spread rates.


CCIS 1-40 University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB

Other Information: 

Mark Lewis Mark Lewis is the winner of the 2011 CRM-Fields-PIMS Prize. Lewis is a faculty member at the University of Alberta, where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Mathematical Biology and directs the Centre for Mathematical Biology.
The CRM-Fields-PIMS Prize is the premier Canadian award for research achievements in the mathematical sciences. The prize winner is selected each fall by an independent international committee with six members, two named by each of the three institutes. The prize winner is invited to give a lecture at each of the institutes and the prize includes a cash award of $10,000.


Mark Lewis obtained his BSc at U.Victoria (1987) and a doctorate from the University of Oxford (1990), was a faculty member at the University of Utah until 2001, and has also held visiting and research fellowships at Princeton University and Imperial College in London. He is Past President of the Society for Mathematical Biology, and has served on a number of advisory boards, including the Journal of Theoretical Biology Advisory Board, and the Scientific Advisory Board for BIRS. His research has been recognized by a Sloan Research Fellowship and a National Young Investigator Award from the US National Science Foundation.


Mark's research is in mathematical biology and ecology, including modelling and analysis of nonlinear PDE and integral models in population dynamics and ecology. Applications, made to case studies with detailed data and biology, include: wolf territories, elk migration in Yellowstone Park, spatial spread and impact of introduced pest species, vegetation shift in response to climate change and recolonization of Mount St. Helens.


Mark Lewis was a member of the PIMS Board of Directors during the period 2004-2009 and he is Program Director for the PIMS International Graduate Training Center in Mathematical Biology. He has been an outstanding contributor to the scientific development of PIMS and its community in Western Canada and Washington State.