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ACMD Seminar: Mathematical models for honeybee population dynamics

Marisabel Rodriguez
Simon A. Levin Computational and Modeling Science Center, Arizona State University

Monday, Oct 21, 2019, 3:00–4:00 PM
Building 101, Lecture Room C

Monday, October 21, 2019, 1:00–2:00 PM
Building 1, Room 4072

This talk will be broadcast on-line using BlueJeans.  Contact acmdseminar [at] (acmdseminar[at]nist[dot]gov) for details.

Host: Tony Kearsley

Abstract: Honeybees play an important role in sustaining ecosystems. They are the most important group of pollinating insects, and therefore a highly valuable economical “renewable” resource. The complexity of honeybee systems continues to challenge researchers interested in understanding the mechanisms behind colony dynamics. Previous studies have focused on the role of nutritional stress and parasites as some of the key contributors to the observed honeybee colonies rapid decline. In this presentation, the effects of seasonal environmental perturbations on honeybee population dynamics are studied with the aid of mathematical models. First, the role of nutritional status and its influence on the age-based division of labor in honeybee population is carried out via a system of ordinary differential equations that accounts for brood, adult worker by task distribution, and nutrient storage. Second, the study of the dynamic interactions between bees and mites require the use of delay differential equations since the development time from the brood to the adult stage needs to be incorporated. Empirical data were utilized to estimate important parameters for both models. Analytical and numerical results are performed to identify and assess the impact of key factors to honeybee survival and extinction. With the aid of global sensitivity analysis, thresholds of parameter values affecting population sizes in the context of seasonality are identified. These analyses have provided additional insights on honeybee colony dynamics under different environmental stressors.

Bio: Marisabel Rodriguez received her Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from Arizona State University in 2018. She is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Simon A. Levin Computational and Modeling Science Center at Arizona State University, and Visiting Scholar of the Division of Applied Mathematics at Brown University. Her current research interests lie at the crossroad of dynamical systems, ecology, epidemiology, social sciences, and computational sciences. She has used dynamical systems theory to model and describe the behavior of complex biological systems that may arise in the social and biological sciences.

Note: Visitors from outside NIST must contact Cathy Graham; (301) 975-3800; at least 24 hours in advance.

Created September 26, 2019, Updated June 2, 2021