Living in Stressed Environments: Using Mathematics to Understand Ecosystems' Dynamics

Back to search results
Many ecosystems are “stressed” whereby external perturbations such as pollution, land clearing and sudden shocks to the environment arise. However, most current models that are used by ecologists do not take the changing environment into consideration. Recent novel and innovative models developed by our group directly couple the dynamics of one or two species with their environments by treating the carrying capacity, a proxy for the state of the environment, as a state variable in the governing equations. Consequently, any changes to the environment can be naturally reflected in the survival, movement and competition of the species within the ecosystem.

The successful HDR candidate working in this project must have strong analytical and numerical skills, particularly in solving differential equations. As such, the candidate can have a background in Bachelor of Science, majoring in Mathematics or even theoretical Physics. Candidates majoring in Ecology with background in mathematical modelling are also suitable. Candidates with a background in Bachelor of Engineering with strong mathematical and numerical skills are also deemed as suitable for this project.  Having a good understanding in the area of nonlinear dynamics will be helpful, but not crucial.

Supervisory team
Harvinder
Sidhu

UNSW Canberra
Physical, Environmental & Mathematical Science
Isaac
Towers

UNSW Canberra
Physical, Environmental & Mathematical Science
Zlatko
Jovanoski

UNSW Canberra
Physical, Environmental & Mathematical Science
h.sidhu@adfa.edu.au