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Renowned mathematical modeler to visit ISU Nov. 2

Posted October 24, 2006

The lecture “Individual-based Ecology: A Virtual Look at Habitat Selection and Competition” will be presented at 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2, in the Plant Sciences Building Auditorium by Dr. Roland H. Lamberson, professor emeritus of mathematics at Humboldt State University in Arcata, Calif.  

The Idaho State University departments of mathematics and biological sciences, and the ISU Mathematics/Computer Science Club are sponsoring the lecture. It is free and open to the public, and should be accessible to anyone with an interest in and basic understanding of computer simulation and/or ecology.

Lamberson will describe the development of a model of fish population dynamics based on behavior at the individual level. Such models have generally been intractable until recent advances in computing software and hardware. Lamberson has used his model to study density-dependent growth, habitat selection, and interspecific competition in fish.  Results of these modeling experiments suggest that fish population dynamics may be unexpectedly complicated and that some standard practices in fisheries studies may lead to inappropriate conclusions.

Lamberson earned a Doctor of Arts at University of Northern Colorado in 1974, and after a stint as chair of mathematics at Des Moines Area Community College, joined the mathematics faculty at Humboldt State University in 1980. Since then, he has become recognized around the world as a leader in the field of mathematical modeling of ecological and environmental systems. Lamberson was the primary force behind creation of the environmental systems graduate program at Humboldt State University, the Resource Modeling Association, and the journal Natural Resource Modeling.  

He currently serves as the executive secretary for the Resource Modeling Association, and after many years in various editorial capacities at Natural Resource Modeling, he now serves as a senior advisor to the journal. Lamberson’s research has been published in numerous books and journals, ranging from Linear Algebra and Its Applications to Conservation Biology. He is particularly well known for his work on the population dynamics of the northern spotted owl, which has been drawn upon to determine management strategies for the owl’s conservation.