Spatial Structure in Population Models: Bridging Theory and Data

Joy Lukman

  • 12 April 2021 - 16 April 2021
    8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Matthew Simpson (Queensland University of Technology)
Michael Plank (University of Canterbury)
Rachelle Binny (Manaaki Whenua)
Maria Bruna (University of Cambridge)

Program Description: 
Spatial moment dynamics are a way of modelling population dynamics in a way that incorporates information about spatial structure, which mean-field models typically neglect. Information about spatial structure can be important as it is the main determinant of the local environment encountered by a typical individual. Spatial moment dynamic equations are typically a system of integro-partial differential equations for the first moment (average density) and second moment (pair density), formed by a moment closure approximation to obtain a closed system at the level of the second moment. This is a deterministic approximation of a stochastic individual-based model for the number and locations of all individuals within the population. This workshop will bring together new advances in the theory of spatial moment dynamics with new statistical methods for fitting them to empirical data .
The aim of the program is to explore new spatial moment dynamics theory and parameter inference techniques and develop new algorithms for fitting spatial moment dynamic models to empirical data. The spatial moment dynamics theory will focus on the application to spatially heterogeneous populations, while the parameter inference theme will focus on likelihood-based methods. Progress in these two areas combined will synergistically increase the impact of mathematical and statistical research in spatial moment dynamics, by expanding the range of scenarios in which they are applicable and by allowing them to be used in conjunction with empirical data.

Program Structure: 
Below is the draft of Program Structure. Please click to enlarge.
Note: actual times may differ slightly and things may change as the workshop approaches


  • Deadline: 12 February 2021
  • Registration is by invitation only. If you are interested to participate in this research program, please contact one of the organisers with your CV and research background.


MATRIX Wine and Cheese Afternoon 21 April 2020
On the first Tuesday of each program, MATRIX provides a pre-dinner wine and cheese afternoon. Produce is locally-sourced to showcase delicacies from the region.