May

28

 There is an interesting one page article by April Frawley Birdwell that appeared in the Winter 2007 edition of the University of Florida Alumni Magazine, on theoretical ecologist, assistant professor Ben Bolker.

From the alumni magazine article (not seen online), Dr. Bolker "uses math to develop models that answer the 'what if' questions in ecology".

"Bolker's field, theoretical ecology, sounds abstract, but he describes it more simply as ecological modeling. He takes data other researchers collect during experiments and devises the mathematical means to answer questions the results cannot answer alone, mostly about the population patterns of plants and animals. He also tires to answer ecological questions of the hypothetical sort derived from his own brain. This can help researchers know what type of data to collect, he says."

Bolker is preparing a book for publication which may appeal to the statistically and programming-inclined. Evidently the book is meant to provide a more technical background to information set forth in Hilborn and Mangel's Ecological Detective.

Bolker's forthcoming book can be found in draft form. He welcomes feedback (he does come across as a fine teacher and one willing to help his students "break down math barriers").


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