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Challenges in Theoretical Ecology for the Next Century

November 22, 2019, 10:15 AM - 10:45 AM


The Heldrich Hotel & Conference Center

10 Livingston Avenue

New Brunswick, NJ 08901


Click here for map.

Simon Levin, Princeton University

The subject of mathematical ecology is one of the oldest and most exciting in mathematical biology, and has helped in the management of natural systems and infectious diseases. Though many problems remain in those areas, we face new challenges today in finding ways to cooperate in managing our Global Commons. From behavioral and evolutionary perspectives, our societies display conflict of purpose or fitness across levels, leading to game-theoretic problems in understanding how cooperation emerges in Nature, and how it might be realized in dealing with problems of the Global Commons. This lecture will attempt to weave these topics together, tracing the evolution from earlier work to challenges for the future.

Speaker Bio: Simon Levin is the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University. His principal interests lie in understanding how macroscopic patterns and processes are maintained at the level of ecosystems and the biosphere, in terms of mechanisms that operate primarily at the organism level, and in the interface between ecological and socio-economic systems. His work integrates empirical studies and mathematical modeling, with emphasis on how to extrapolate across scales of space, time, and organizational complexity. Levin is a member of the American Philosophical Society and the National Academy of Sciences, as well as Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His numerous honors include the National Medal of Science, Ramon Margalef Prize in Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Kyoto Prize, Tyler Prize, Heineken Prize and several honorary degrees. He has been organizer for many DIMACS activities, including the SF on Computational and Mathematical Epidemiology, Mathematics of Planet Earth, and DIMACS Initiatives on Epidemiological Modeling in Africa. He is a past member of the DIMACS Advisory Board.