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NIMBioS Partnership with Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013 Initiative

photo. Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013 (MPE2013) is an initiative of mathematical sciences organizations around the world designed to showcase the ways in which the mathematical sciences can be useful in tackling our world's problems.

This initiative has led to plans for many events to take place in 2013, including more than 10 long term programs at institutes around the world, more than 50 workshops, many invited speakers and special sessions at societal meetings, numerous public lectures, the development of educational materials, art exhibits, and an international prize competition to create innovative modules for display and use and which can be widely disseminated and exhibited.

NIMBioS is a partner organization of MPE2013. The following NIMBioS activities relate to the themes of MPE2013 and showcase the relevance of mathematics in addressing the biological aspects of problems on planet Earth.

MPE2013-Related Activities at NIMBioS

icon image. NIMBioS Working Group on Nonautonomous Systems and Terrestrial C-cycle, May 13-17, 2013. Co-organizers: Yiqi Luo (Dept. of Microbiology and Plant Biology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK) and Maria Leite (Dept. of Mathematics and Statistics, The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH). Although carbon cycle processes have been described by mathematical equations in Earth system models to quantitatively evaluate their responses and feedback to climate change, much less has been done on mathematical analysis to gain theoretical insights into carbon cycle. Recent research that examined numerous lines of empirical evidence has shown that the terrestrial carbon cycle can be adequately described as a nonautonomous linear system. This working group will examine theoretical properties of the nonautonomous linear system of terrestrial carbon cycle and explore uses of those properties to guide observatory, experimental, and modeling research.

icon image. NIMBioS Working Group on Biotic Interactions, Feb. 1-4, 2013. Co-organizers: William Godsoe (School of Biological Sciences, Univ. of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand) and Robert D. Holt (Ecology, Univ. of Florida, Gainesville). One of the fundamental challenges in ecology is to predict species' geographic distributions. A strong understanding of this basic question is necessary to make predictions about the distribution of biodiversity and biosecurity threats. This working group will address this substantial ambiguity by formally linking ecological theory on species interactions to empirical species' distribution models.

icon image. NIMBioS Working Group on Within-host Modeling of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) Infections, March 4-6, 2013. Co-organizers: Ynte H. Schukken (Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY.); Ad Koets (Utrecht Univ., the Netherlands); Srinand Sreevatsan (Univ. of Minnesota); Maia Martcheva (Univ. of Florida); and Shigetoshi Eda (Univ. of Tennessee). The objective of this working group is to develop a within-host MAP infection model, using observational data on infection patterns and within-host immune response data. The ultimate goal of the model is to provide an understanding of progression of disease in response to MAP infection and to devise better mitigation strategies for Johne's disease.

icon image. NIMBioS Working Group on Ocean Viral Dynamics, June 3-5, 2013. Co-organizers: Joshua S. Weitz (School of Biology & Physics, Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta) and Steven W. Wilhelm (Dept. of Microbiology, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville). The goal of this working group is to identify and devise analytical approaches to quantifying viral effects on the biogeochemical dynamics of carbon and other key nutrients in the oceans.

Call for Support

If you are pursuing research that links biology and mathematics and that relates to the goals of MPE2013, please consider applying for support from NIMBioS. NIMBioS invites applications for Working Groups, Investigative Workshops, Postdoctoral Fellowship, Sabbatical Fellowhips and Short-term Visits. More information and how to apply can be found at

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NSF logo. NIMBioS is sponsored by the National Science Foundation through NSF Award #DBI-1300426, with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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