Physical-Biological Interactions Laboratory

Modeling Biological Control

NIMBiOS working group “Pretty Darn Good Control”

Optimal control entered mathematical ecology and evolution through applications in resource management and behavioral and evolutionary ecology. While traditional optimal control provides insights into problem structure and a set of analytic tools, it is most useful when combined with additional techniques that explicitly account for ill-resolved model structure, complex stochastics, and unusual or inflexible controls, which are commonly encountered in ecological systems. The group focuses on three practical concerns that complicate straightforward applications of optimal control: model uncertainty, objective uncertainty, and control constraints. Team participants bring expertise from mathematics, ecology, control systems engineering, network theory, and statistics and are drawn from institutions in California, Pennsylvania, Hawaii, Tennessee, Florida, and Australia.

(Back row, L to R): Carl Boettiger, Jim Sanchirico, Marie-Josee Fortin, Alan Hastings, Michael Bode, Dan Ryan, Jacob LaRiviere, Carl Toews, Frank Doyle; (Front, L to R): Claire Paris, Megan Donahue, Paul Armsworth. Not pictured: Raissa D’Souza & Mandy Karnauskas.