Aaron A. King, Ph.D.

Nelson G. Hairston Collegiate Professor of Ecology, Evolutionary Biology,
and Complex Systems, University of Michigan

Math/EEB 466. Mathematical Ecology.

The study of ecology is the exploration of complex, intinsically dynamic systems. Ecologists formulate mathematical models to describe this complexity; the equations that result are interesting both for their biological predictions and their mathematical form. Full analytical solution of model equations is typically impossible, yet to the mathematically prepared mind, they can yield up their secrets.

This course is intended to provide students with the tools needed to formulate and analyze ecological models. It is an overview of the major categories of models and the mathematical techniques available for their analysis. Although the focus is on ecological dynamics, students in other disciplines—including evolutionary biology, natural resources, public health, chemical and bioengineering, economics—will find the methods readily applicable to their own fields. The course presumes mathematical maturity at the level of advanced calculus with prior exposure to ordinary differential equations, linear algebra, and probability.

An additional dimension to the course is its focus on the use of computer algebra systems in mathematical analysis. Students will gain practical skills in these techniques.

Topics covered depend on student interest and time available. The following is a list of topics typically covered.

The most recent course syllabus can be found here.

© 2020 Aaron A. King
3068 Biological Sciences Building
1105 North University Avenue
Ann Arbor MI 48109-1085 USA