I am an undergraduate student in mathematics with a minor in data science. Working with the Tyson lab group, I have developed a population dynamics model of Western Toads to investigate highway mortality. Currently, I am colaborating with the American Mathematics Society to develop projected data assimilation methods to improve numerical weather prediction.
I am an undergraduate doing an honours in pure mathematics, and won a Barber School Undergraduate Research Award last summer. I am working on modelling the urban dispersal of mountain pine beetle (MPB) populations influenced by low-level wind currents. A major part of the project was to incorporate real world weather model data into the MPB model. I will be switching projects in January, when I start an honours directed study research project, also with Prof. Tyson.
Sarah received a B.A. in Mathematics from Reed College (Portland, Oregon) in 2011 and a M.S. in Environmental Systems from Humboldt State University (Arcata, California) in 2015. She is now working on a PhD, modelling the movement of bumble bees. She is studying how the pollination services provided by bees to crops are affected by the landscape geometry and the behavioural decisions of the bees. She has developed a stochastic individual based model that uses biased random walks, correlated random walks, and Brownian Motion to simulate bee movement throughout a landscape and track their flower visits. She is also working on a Discrete Time Markov Chain model to study the behavioural budget of bumble bees.
Sarah is part of a collaboration with the BC Blueberry council working on developing tools to help blueberry growers determine the optimal locations to plant wildflowers on their farms.
Pau graduated with a Bachelor's in Physics from the University of Barcelona in 2016 and with a Master's in Physics from the University of Bayreuth in 2018. In September 2018, he moved to Kelowna to start his PhD in Mathematical Biology under the supervision of Prof. Rebecca Tyson.
Pau is currently developing a mechanistic PDE model to predict the spatial distribution of foraging bumble bees within a landscape containing a heterogeneous distribution of floral resources. His goal is to determine the optimal wildflower patch arrangement within a blueberry field in order to maximize pollination services in the crop. His research includes the effects of population size, honeybee competition or the balance between the nutritional and energy needs of the bees. He is also developing a Dynamic Energy Budget model.
During my PhD I have been working on developing a series of ordinary and partial differential equation models for AMF and plant growth, to assess the risks and beneﬁts connected with the introduction of commercial arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). Beneﬁcial plant-microbe interactions, in particular the widespread symbiosis between plants and AMF, oﬀer promising strategies for sustainable agriculture worldwide. However, relatively few studies have veriﬁed the impact of commercial AMF on the native fungal community, or its long term eﬀectiveness. The goal of my project is to determine the circumstances under which the commercial AMF will coexist with, rather than outcompete, wild AMF and eﬀectively boost plant productivity.
In the summer of 2013 after graduating high school in Merritt B.C I started a job as a wildland firefighter for the BC Wildfire Services. I continued this job each summer between academic years and quickly fell in love with the work I was doing. During my third year of my undergrad I started doing research with Dr.Tyson looking at cold tolerance mechanisms of insects. It was during this project that I knew I wanted to continue doing mathematical biology, and explored the thought of combining these two interests of mine (wildfires and mathematical modelling).
Now, in my second year of my M.Sc, I have landed myself in a position where I am doing just that, and am studying the stochastic behaviour of wildfires. In particular we are looking to come up with a model that more accurately explains fire growth with slope variability. To study this we gathered data from controlled in lab micro fire experiments, as well as field data of controlled test burns. This research is aimed to aid in the construction of a stochastic model which can be used by industries and Incident Management Teams to give insight to ground crews about what they may expect while working the lines of actual wildfires.
I am a Postdoctoral Research/Teaching fellow at the TyLab who enjoys “eating cookies” – as Pau (see above) describes me [^_^].
In my current work, I am considering the effects of wildflowers quality as compared to crop flower quality, the easiness for bumble bees to harvest from crop flowers over wildflowers, and the variations in time of flowers availability on crop pollination services. I developed a mathematical model by a system of ODEs and used the model to address these questions. The model includes bumble bees at the brood and foraging stages, and the resources stored in the nest, loaded in the bees and produced by the flowers on the landscape.
My immediate future directions include extending our ODEs model into a system of PDEs that could be used to (a) predict survival or extinction of bumble bees colonies in the landscape; (b) investigate the proportions and locations of wildflowers in the landscape that are necessary for ‘best’ pollination services of blueberries; (c) investigate the effect of landscape/weather/season long-time dynamics of bumble bees, and on the crop pollination services.