The Annual UNCG Regional Mathematics and Statistics Conference

The 9th Annual UNCG RMSC, Saturday, November 2, 2013

Morning Plenary Lecture

Evolution of resistance to white pine blister rust in high-elevation pines

presented by

Simon Tavener

Professor, Department of Mathematics
Associate Dean for Academics, College of Natural Sciences
Colorado State University

Abstract: Five-needle white pines play an important role in high-elevation ecosystems but are highly susceptible to white pine blister rust (WPBR) caused by a nonnative fungal pathogen. We construct a nonlinear, stage-structured infection model to investigate the effect of WPBR on the dynamics and stand structure of high-elevation five-needle white pines. Management decisions are by definition short-term perturbations that require analysis of transient behavior and we have developed a general software package to examine both transient and equilibrium sensitivities and elasticities. The presence in a population of a resistant genotype can modify both transient and equilibrium behaviors and suggest potential new control strategies. We extend our model to include a resistant allele at a single genetic locus and provide preliminary results.

Biosketch: Simon Tavener is Professor of Mathematics and Associate Dean for Academics in the College of Natural Sciences at Colorado State University. He co-directs the undergraduate research program FEScUE which engages undergraduates and faculty from both the mathematical and biological sciences in jointly mentored research clusters. Simon's current research interests are focused on the development of adaptive numerical techniques for the accurate computation of multiscale, multiphysics problems, including issues arising due to the presence of uncertainty. He has recently enjoyed two visiting fellowships at the Oxford Center for Collaborative Applied Mathematics and is currently Secretary of SIAM (Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics).