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Past NIMBioS Postdoctoral Fellow

Angela Peace

Angela Peace photo. Dates: August 2014 – July 2015
Twitter: @AngieLPeace
Project Title: Stoichiometric food web models: How food quality affects population structures

Angela Peace (Ph.D. Applied Mathematics, Arizona State Univ., 2014) developed ecological stoichiometric population models of two and three trophic levels that investigate the effects of light and nutrient availability on ecological transfer efficiencies (Peace, 2015 Ecological Modeling). The models are two and three dimensional systems of ordinary differential equations, Lotka-Volterra type models, that incorporate two currencies, carbon (C) and phosphorus (P), across trophic levels: phytoplankton, zooplankton, and fish. The models use ecological trophic transfer efficiencies as important gauges of ecosystem function in order to determine the effects of nutrient enrichment, light availability, and food chain length.

An additional complementary research project involved a collaboration to use a quantitative genetic approach to explore the connections between rapid evolution and ecological stoichiometry at both the population and ecosystem level (Masato et al., 2015 Oikos). This involved the incorporation of evolution into ecological stoichiometric models to investigate the effects of rapid evolution of a consumer’s stoichiometric trait (Daphnia P:C ratio) on population dynamics. Model results indicate rapid evolution of the consumer stoichiometric trait (P:C ratio) can cause complex dynamics. For example, rapid evolution can destabilizes population dynamics. In other scenarios rapid evolution can rescue the consumer population from extinction (evolutionary rescue). The model results also show that rapid evolution may influence the level of nutrients available in the environment and the flux of nutrients across trophic levels. The study represents an important step for theoretical integration of rapid evolution and ecological stoichiometry.

After completing her NIMBioS fellowship, Peace accepted a faculty position as an assistant professor in the department of mathematics and statistics at Texas Tech University. Peace will continue to develop and analyze mathematical models of essential elements and their interactions under the framework of ecological stoichiometry. Peace further plans to apply this theory to ecotoxicology modeling by developing models that investigate how co-occurring nutrient and contaminant stressors interact in aquatic systems. These modeling efforts will improve understanding of the processes governing the trophic transfer of nutrients, energy, and toxins and offer insight on the importance of elemental food quality in ecotoxicological testing protocols for assessing risk of exposures to toxins.

LiveScience Profile Q&A with Dr. Peace: Urgently examining environmental impacts of fertilizer run-off

Video icon. NIMBioS Seminar: Stoichiometric producer-grazer models incorporating the effects of food quality on grazer dynamics

NIMBioS video interview: The math of chemical elements

Publications while at NIMBioS

  • Peace A, Poteat MD, Wang H. 2016. Somatic Growth Dilution of a toxicant in a predator–prey model under stoichiometric constraints. Journal of Theoretical Biology 407:198-211. [Online]
  • Peace A. 2015. Effects of light, nutrients, and food chain length on trophic efficiencies in simple stoichiometric aquatic food chain models. Ecological Modelling, 312: 125-135. [Online]
  • Teboh-Ewungkem M, Prosper O, Gurski K, Manore C, Peace A, Feng Z. 2015. Intermittent preventive treatment (IPT) and the spread of drug resistant malaria. In press. The IMA Volumes in Mathematics and Its Applications.
  • Yamamichi M, Meunier CL, Peace A, Prater C, Rua MA. 2015. Rapid evolution of a consumer stoichiometric trait destabilizes consumer-producer dynamics. Oikos, 124(7): 960-969. [Online]

Presentations while at NIMBioS

  • Peace A. 2015 July. Ecotoxicological stoichiometric model of Methylmercury bioaccumulation in Daphnia. Fishheads Seminar, Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
  • Peace A. 2015 June. Modeling the effects of co-occurring nutrient and contaminant stressors in aquatic systems. Conference on Biological Stoichiometry, Trent University Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.
  • Peace A. 2015 June. Somatic growth dilution: Toxin predator-prey model under stoichiometric constraints. Micro and Macro Systems in Life Sciences Conference, Stefan Banach International Mathematical Center Bedlewo, Poland.

Participation in NIMBioS Activities:

Education, Outreach and Training

  • Volunteered at the interviews with scientists and mathematicians session at the Adventures in STEM Girls Camp, a summer day program for middle school girls, NIMBioS, Knoxville, TN, July 2015
  • Educational talk for undergraduates on research at the 8th Annual Mathematical Field of Dreams Conference, organized by the National Alliance for Doctoral Studies in the Mathematical Sciences, Phoenix, AZ, November 2014
  • Moderated session of undergraduate student talks and participated in networking activities at the 6th Undergraduate Research Conference at the Interface of Biology and Math, Knoxville TN, November 2014
  • Educational talk at Ecology and Evolution seminar and mentored and judged at the annual meeting of the Society for Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), Los Angeles, CA, October 2014

Main NIMBioS Postdoc page

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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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