PhD Student University of California, Berkeley, United States
Session Description: This session seeks to introduce mathematical models to early career ecologists, especially those from historically excluded groups and those with limited modeling resources at their institutions. The session will open with an introduction to the wide array of mathematical approaches used in ecological research, and a discussion on how to match ecological questions to these approaches. Then, workshop participants will form small groups to practice designing their own ecological models by (1) identifying a focal question/study system, (2) distilling their focal system into a diagram, and (3) translating this diagram into verbal (and mathematical) equations and pseudo-code. Small groups will include one “experienced” modeler (e.g., ecological modeler from the Theoretical Ecology section or similar) to serve as the group’s mentor. Finally, participants will bridge from these small group models into a workshop-wide discussion of the resources available to further their modeling work. Additionally, participants will receive a resource guide (including peer-reviewed papers, lists of modeling workshops and math biology centers, and contact information for workshop leadership) to help them navigate mathematical models on their own time.