Suzanne Lenhart: Optimal Control Techniques for Management Strategies in Biological Models 

Submitted by Tony I Garcia on

The Department of Applied Mathematics is pleased to host this series of colloquium lectures, funded in part by a generous gift from the Boeing Company. This series will bring to campus prominent applied mathematicians from around the world.

Speaker: Suzanne Lenhart

Date: November 1, 2018, 4pm

Location: (SMI 205

Title: Optimal Control Techniques for Management Strategies in Biological Models

Abstract: This talk will introduce the basic idea of optimal control of ordinary differential equations to achieve a desired goal. Then two examples for choosing management actions will be presented. Motivated by some tree species in Benin, the first example has a system of two ordinary differential equations representing the density of a plant species and the intrinsic growth rate of that species.  We apply optimal control theory to investigate optimal strategies for the combinations of non-lethal and lethal harvest rates that minimize the cost of harvesting while maximizing the benefits (revenue) that accrue to harvesters and the conservation value of harvested ecosystem. The second example has a stochastic feature but can be reduced to optimal control of differential equations.  In making decisions relating to a large scale forest fire, we incorporate the stochasticity of the time of a fire into our model and explore the trade-offs between prevention management spending and suppression spending. A large fire event in the past was used to form an illustrative example.