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## ECM3706 - Mathematical Biology and Ecology (2015)

MODULE TITLE | Mathematical Biology and Ecology | CREDIT VALUE | 15 |
---|---|---|---|

MODULE CODE | ECM3706 | MODULE CONVENER | Dr Ozgur Akman (Coordinator) |

DURATION: TERM | 1 | 2 | 3 |
---|---|---|---|

DURATION: WEEKS | 11 weeks | 0 | 0 |

Number of Students Taking Module (anticipated) | 41 |
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This module will give you the opportunity to learn how mathematics may be applied to the biosciences in order to quantify population and demographic phenomena. The subject matter has been selected so as to give a wide-ranging overview of the role applied mathematics has to play in the biological disciplines. Some use of software will enable you to build and analyse models using real world examples from nature. As an example, you may study the population dynamics of insects, animals or fish, or the competitive exclusion of species, and be able to draw conclusions about likely behaviours.

Prerequisite module: ECM2702 or equivalent

This module is designed to illustrate the application of mathematics to the biological science, and emphasises realistic situations throughout. These include: population dynamics (spruce budworms, whales) and stage-structured population models incorporating complex demographies. They also include harvesting models; competitive exclusion of species; reaction kinetics; biological waves; diffusion-driven instabilities and the effects of geometry on pattern formation in animals. On this module, you will learn how to use core applied mathematics techniques, such as differential equation modelling and matrix algebra. However, no previous biological knowledge will be assumed.

On successful completion of this module, **you should be able to**:

**Module Specific Skills and Knowledge:**

1 appreciate how mathematics can be usefully employed in various aspects of the life sciences.

**Discipline Specific Skills and Knowledge:**

2 understand the role of mathematical modelling in real-life situations;

3 recognise how many aspects of applied mathematics learned in earlier modules have practical uses;

4 develop considerable expertise in using analytical and numerical techniques to explore mathematical models;

5 formulate simple models;

6 study adeptly the resulting equations;

7 draw conclusions about likely behaviours.

**Personal and Key Transferable/ Employment Skills and Knowledge:**

9 display enhanced numerical and computational skills via the suite of practical exercises that accompany the formal lecture work;

10 show enhanced literature searching and library skills in order to investigate various phenomena discussed;

11 demonstrate enhanced time management and organisational abilities.

- continuous models for a single species; analysis of models using linear stability theory; applications to the spruce budworm insect model, Hysteresis effects; harvesting a single natural population; discrete models and cobwebbing; discrete logistic growth and the route to chaos.

- two-species models; introduction to simple phase plane analysis; realistic models for various cases (e.g. predator-prey interactions) and the principles of competitive exclusion and mutualism;

- introduction to population projection models;geometric growth, stable stage structures and reproductive value for stage-structured ecological populations; asymptotic analysis and transient bounds;

- tools for analysing PPMs; sensitivity and elasticity; use of transfer function analysis to achieve exact perturbations; applications to managed conservation strategies; reaction kinetics and the law of mass action;

- enzyme-substrate kinetics; Michaelis-Menten theory and activation/inhibition phenomena;

- reaction-diffusion problems and biological waves; the Fisher equation; Turing instabilities and diffusion-driven instabilities in two-component systems; generation of patterning by domain geometry; minimal domains for stable pattern formation;

- reactivity and transient amplification in stage-structured populations; structured perturbations and ecological robustness.

Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities | 33.00 | Guided Independent Study | 117.00 | Placement / Study Abroad | 0.00 |
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Category | Hours of study time | Description |

Scheduled learning and teaching activities | 33 | Lectures, example classes |

Guided independent study | 117 | Lecture and assessment preparation; wider reading |

Form of Assessment | Size of Assessment (e.g. duration/length) | ILOs Assessed | Feedback Method |
---|---|---|---|

2 exercise sheets | 6-7 questions per sheet | 1-11 | In-class review of model solutions |

Coursework | 20 | Written Exams | 80 | Practical Exams |
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Form of Assessment | % of Credit | Size of Assessment (e.g. duration/length) | ILOs Assessed | Feedback Method |
---|---|---|---|---|

Written exam – closed book | 80 | 2 hours | 1-4, 6-9 | None |

Coursework – two assessed coursework sheets | 20 | 4-5 questions per sheet | 1-11 | Feedback sheet and in-class review of model solutions |

Original Form of Assessment | Form of Re-assessment | ILOs Re-assessed | Time Scale for Re-reassessment |
---|---|---|---|

All above | Written exam (100%) | All | August Ref/Def period |

If a module is normally assessed entirely by coursework, all referred/deferred assessments will normally be by assignment.

If a module is normally assessed by examination or examination plus coursework, referred and deferred assessment will normally be by examination. For referrals, only the examination will count, a mark of 40% being awarded if the examination is passed. For deferrals, candidates will be awarded the higher of the deferred examination mark or the deferred examination mark combined with the original coursework mark.

information that you are expected to consult. Further guidance will be provided by the Module Convener

**ELE:**

http://vle.exeter.ac.uk

Reading list for this module:

Type | Author | Title | Edition | Publisher | Year | ISBN | Search |
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

Set | Murray J.D. | Mathematical Biology | 2nd | Springer | 1993 | 000-3-540-57204-X | [Library] |

Set | Caswell, Hal | Matrix population models : construction, analysis, and interpretation | 2nd | Sinauer Associates | 2001 | 9780878930937 | [Library] |

Set | Alstad, D | Basic Populus Models of Ecology | Prentice-Hall | 2001 | 978-0130212894 | [Library] | |

Set | Britton, Nicholas F | Essential Mathematical Biology | Springer | 2005 | 978-1852335366 | [Library] | |

Extended | May R.M. | Theoretical Ecology. Principles and Applications | Electronic | Blackwell Scientific Publications | 2007 | 000-0-632-00762-1 | [Library] |

Extended | Jones D.S. & Sleeman B.D. | Differential Equations and Mathematical Biology | Electronic | Allen & Unwin | 2003 | 000-0-045-15001-X | [Library] |

Extended | Fife P.C. | Mathematical aspects of reacting and diffusing systems | Springer | 1979 | 000-3-540-09117-3 | [Library] |

CREDIT VALUE | 15 | ECTS VALUE | 7.5 |
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PRE-REQUISITE MODULES | ECM2702 |
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CO-REQUISITE MODULES |

NQF LEVEL (FHEQ) | 6 | AVAILABLE AS DISTANCE LEARNING | No |
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ORIGIN DATE | Friday 09 January 2015 | LAST REVISION DATE | Friday 09 January 2015 |

KEY WORDS SEARCH | Mathematical biology; ecology; nonlinear dynamics; systems biology; population dynamics; mathematical modelling; linear algebra; differential equations. |
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