Mark Lewis – bio & abstract

BioMaths Colloquium Series – 2021/22
6 April 2022 – 3pm Online (register here for Zoom link)

Prof Mark Lewis

(Mathematics & Statistical Sciences, University of Alberta, Canada)

Using Mathematics to Understand Animal Movement Patterns


Our BioMaths Colloquium Series continues with a seminar by Mark Lewis from the Mathematics and Statistical Sciences department at the University of Alberta. Mark is a Canada Research Chair in Mathematical Biology, University of Alberta. His research focus is mathematical biology, with a focus in spatial ecology.
His group applies mathematical modeling to biological problems, including modeling the process of territorial pattern formation in wolves, predicting population spread in biological invasions, calculating optimal strategies for biocontrol, and assessing the effect of habitat fragmentation on species survival.


Animal movement patterns have long been the subject of mathematical and ecological interest. How do individual behavioral decision rules translate into macroscale patterns of space use such as foraging, patrolling or territories? I will show how mechanistic models, using random walks, stochastic processes, first passage time analysis and partial differential equations can be used to connect underlying processes to the observed patterns. Here interactions are complex and may involve memory of past events, as well as a cognitive map. I will make applications to a spectrum of different emerging patterns, ranging from territories in Amazonian birds to patrolling in wolves.

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