Mathematical Biology Seminar: Rebecca Tyson

  • Date: 03/19/2012
  • Time: 15:00
Rebecca Tyson

University of Alberta




We present models to address two major issues surrounding bee-pollinated crops: (1) the movement of transgenic pollen and (2) the collapse of honeybee colonies. Both issues are inextricably tied to bee movement, and thus solutions can only be generated if bee foraging and dispersal movement patterns are understood. In this talk, we develop a novel diffusion-based model for bee movement whose solutions capture both the centre and tails of the bee population distribution. We then use this model as a basis for modelling bee-mediated pollen movement, and validate our work with an experimental study measuring percent transgenic seed in an apple orchard with a row of 200 transgenic source trees. We show that the model can be used to predict the percent transgenic seed in neighbouring conventional trees as a function of the size of each orchard block and the distance between them. We thn explore extensions of the bee movement model to wild bee movement and the evaluation of pollination services these bees can provide both in the absence of honeybees, and when honeybees are present.

Other Information: 

Location: Cab 229


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