A Mathematical Biology Program at the University of Louisiana: Training
University of Louisiana
May 4, 2006
Recently a new Mathematical Biology program for undergraduate students at the University of Louisiana was developed. In this talk, the new courses that are being developed as part of this program will be presented and the research projects that the undergraduate students participate in will be discussed. In particular, as part of what we hope will be a long-term monitoring survey, a population of the green tree frog (Hyla cinerea) was followed from June through October 2004 and 2005 at the National Wetlands Research Center (NWRC) and the National Marine Fisheries Service complex (NMFC). Due to urbanization, the frog population is relatively isolated. H. cinerea were collected once a week, measured, and marked. Data from the captures were used to estimate the population size of the frogs at the NWRC/NMFC complex. The results indicate that the data period can be split into two time periods: the first during and the second after the breeding season. During the breeding season we found our population had a mean estimated value of 143, and after the breeding season ended (in September and October), the population had a mean estimated value of 446. While we do expect an increase in adult frog populations towards the end of the summer due to tadpoles metamorphosing into adults, problems with sampling methodology could also explain the increase in population size. An age/stage structured population model was developed to describe the dynamics of this population. Initial simulation results show that the model agrees well with the population estimates.
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