Marine ecosystems and fishing
Multi-species communities are often described by food webs, which focus on species as the key variable determining what an individual eats. But in marine ecosystems, fish can grow by several orders of magnitude during their lives, and their diet changes as they do so. This means that body size can be more important than species identity in describing predator-prey interactions. Size-spectrum models focus on body size as a key variable and keep track of how biomass flows from prey to predator through mortality and growth. These models take the form of a system of nonlinear integro-partial differential equations. This project will use size-spectrum models to investigate the dynamics of multi-species communities. These models will also be used to investigate the effect of different ways of distributing fishing pressure across the ecosystem on key outcomes such as fisheries yield and impact on ecosystem structure.
Supervisor: Michael Plank
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Applied mathematical modelling