The SPEED Lab (Spatial Population Ecological and Epidemiological Dynamics Lab)
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 currently include training of future high-school mathematics teachers. Plans are underway to develop presentations which will be given in area K-12 schools in Spring 2008, with the hopes of bringing K-12 students and teachers onto the UMaine campus to start getting involved in SPEED Lab research activities beginning in Fall 2008.
A small group of students from the SPEED Lab have also been attending the Mathematical and Theoretical Biology Institute (MTBI) at Arizona State University each summer since 2005; Dr. Hiebeler has also been attending as an instructor and research mentor since 2006.
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