Mathematics Colloquia and Seminars

Return to Colloquia & Seminar listing

A new agenda for botanical epidemiology

Student-Run Applied & Math Seminar

Speaker: Neil McRoberts, UC Davis, Plant Pathology
Location: 2112 MSB
Start time: Wed, Nov 10 2010, 12:00PM

Quantitative botanical epidemiology was founded as an academic discipline as recently as 1963, when J. E. van der Plank's Plant Disease: Epidemics and Control was published. The intervening years between then and now have been spent largely elaborating van der Plank's original vision, focusing on efforts to understand the relationships between the spatial and temporal dynamics of disease and the environmental conditions which influence them. In 2007 The Study of Plant Disease Epidemics - SPDE - (by Madden, Hughes, and van den Bosch) captured and summarized the majority of the mathematical and statistical techniques the discipline had adopted during the process of elaboration. SPDE can be thought of as providing a complete set of instructions for the empirical analysis of plant disease epidemics. Indeed, in an applied context one might reasonably ask whether there is anything useful left to add; a question of some interest to a new faculty hire in plant disease epidemiology. Neglected aspects of plant disease epidemiology include the role of human action in determining observed dynamics and long term (i.e. multi-year) dynamics. I speculate on the prospects for progress in these areas and their synthesis.