The SPEED Lab (Spatial Population Ecological and Epidemiological Dynamics Lab)

locally-dispersing population on a heterogeneous landscape with gradient of habitat clustering


The SPEED Lab is the research group of Dr. David Hiebeler, a faculty member in the Dept. of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Maine since Fall 2002. Dr. Hiebeler is currently also a cooperating faculty member with the School of Biology & Ecology, and a member of the program in Ecology and Environmental Science.

Research efforts of the group focus on computational and mathematical models of populations spread across landscapes. These landscapes often include different types of habitat, arranged in various types of patterns. Planned applications of the models include modeling the spread of plants in forested landscapes, agricultural crop pests such as maggot flies in commercial blueberry fields in Maine with pesticides being applied in various patterns, and other invasive species such as Asian woodwasps. The models are also being applied toward studying the spread of malicious software such as computer worms or viruses in networks, as such software often uses biologically-inspired dispersal strategies.

Outreach efforts of the group sometimes includes training of future high-school mathematics teachers, and visits to K-12 classrooms and other venues to work with the students and teachers.

Several students from the SPEED Lab have attended the Mathematical and Theoretical Biology Institute (MTBI) at Arizona State University over the years. Dr. Hiebeler attended as an instructor and research mentor in the summers of 2006, 2007 and 2008, and for shorter visits in later years.

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