PIMS IGTC Mathematical Biology Summer School

  • Start Date: 05/27/2013
  • End Date: 06/14/2013

University of Alberta


The Mathematics Behind Biological Invasions



Humans have introduced most of the alien species found worldwide. If these species manage to survive, reproduce, spread and finally harm a new environment, they are called invasive. Invasive species can change habitats and ecosystem processes, crowd out native species or damage human activities, ultimately costing the global economy an estimated $1.4 trillion per year. The dramatic progression of an invasion involves a series of complex dynamical processes that requires sophisticated mathematical language to describe, quantify and investigate. This course will focus on development and analysis of mathematical models that have and can be applied to these processes.


The course will be based on three components: lectures, computer labs and group projects.  The first two weeks will focus on the lectures and computer labs. Four international Distinguished Lecturers will give the lectures, and the computer labs will apply their lecture material to the modelling and analysis real biological invasions. The focus on the last week will be group projects where students will apply their modelling, mathematical and computational skills to solving problems in the area of biological invasions.  


Primary Course Organizer
·    Prof. Thomas Hillen (Professor of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, University of Alberta, Canada)

Distinguished Lecturers
·    Prof. Alan Hastings (Distinguished Professor, University of California, Davis USA)

·    Prof. Mark Lewis (Canada Research Chair in Mathematical Biology, University of Alberta, Canada)

·    Prof. Jonathan Sherratt (Professor of Mathematics, Heriot Watt University, UK)

·    Prof. Sergei Petrovskii (Professor in Applied Mathematics, Leicester University, UK).


Poster Session

There will be the opportunity for students to bring a poster about their current work to the workshop. We will organize a poster session on one of the evenings where you can showcase what you are currently working on. The topics will be very mixed and do not need to relate to invasions. If you have no poster to present, that is fine too. 



Dr. Thomas Hillen, Professor, Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, University of Alberta, thillen@ualberta.ca .

Dr. Mark Lewis, Canada Research Chair and Professor, Departments of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences and Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, mlewis@math.ualberta.ca 

Other Information: 


This course can be taken as full *3 credit course:

 * University of Alberta students register in Math 664 in Spring-term 2013.

 * Students from other PIMS University can use the Western-Deans agreement. The forms need to be filled out before End of April 2013.

 * Other students get a certificate that they can submit to their home University. It is the decision of the home University to grant transfer credit or not.


This course is available to students across Canada and worldwide.


See http://www.math.ualberta.ca/~jrpotts/invasions_summer_school.html for further information.






To register for this event please visit the Mathprograms Event Page.


Registration deadline: April 5, 2013, but for best chances of a successful application please register by February 22.





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N.B. Accommodation is paid for by the summer school.  However, travel and food are not covered.  We will request a check of C$100 from successful applicants as a deposit, which will be reimbursed when they attend the summer school.  It is possible to take the course for credit either as a University of Alberta student or as a PIMS university student and, if necessary, get transfer credit through the Western Dean's Agreement. If you intend to take the course for credit then regular course fees will be charged by the University of Alberta.  However, it will be possible to apply for a bursary to cover these fees.  More details on this will be forthcoming.