Workshop on Applications in Natural Resource Mathematics (WANRM)

Global Change Institute, Level 2, Room 273, University of Queensland, St Lucia,

3-5th October, 2017

Program and Complete Book of Abstracts

Workshop Photos 

Alan Huang


Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute


Keynote Speakers

Organising Committee

·         Richard Barker, University of Otago

.         Michel De Lara, École des Ponts ParisTech

·         Deborah (Dvora) Hart, NOAA, Woods Hole

.         John Norbury, Oxford University

·         Roger Cropp, Griffith University, Nathan

·         Trevor Hutton, CSIRO, CMAR

·         George Leigh, DAF, Brisbane

·         Eva Plaganyi, CSIRO CMAR

·         Jason Sharples, UNSW

·         Clare McGrory, Conference Director

·         Jerzy Filar, Director of CARM

·         John Hearne, RMIT

·         Joshua Ross, University of Adelaide

·         Wen-Hsi Yang, Research Fellow CARM

·         Sharon Lee, University of Queensland

·         Matthew Holden, Research Fellow,

          CARM & CEED

.         Roxanne Jemison, Conference Manager


International Plenary Speakers

Professor Richard Barker

Talk Title: Multimodel Inference from a Bayesian Perspective

Short Biography

Richard is Professor of Statistics at University of Otago. After completing a degree in Zoology at Massey University, Richard began his career as a Fish and Game officer before working at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Centre in the United States in the early 1990’s. He earned his PhD in Statistics at Massey University after returning to NZ in 1992. Richard has been a University academic since 1998. He holds the Chair in Statistics at the University of Otago, and is currently Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Division of Sciences.  His research interests are Bayesian inference, hierarchical models, ecological statistics, and mark-recapture models.


Professor Michel De Lara

Talk Title: Control Theory and Viability Methods for the Sustainable Management of Natural Resources

Short Biography

Michel De Lara's researchs encompass control theory and stochastic optimization. He has specialized in developing quantitative methods for the sustainable management of natural resources, with an emphasis on biodiversity and energy. Michel De Lara holds a position at the applied mathematics center research CERMICS, École des Ponts ParisTech, France.

Dr Deborah Hart

Talk Title: Uncertainties in Fisheries Stock Assessments

Short Biography

Deborah (Dvora) Hart received a S.B. degree from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology, both in Mathematics. She has published in a number of fields, including pure and applied mathematics, mathematical and theoretical ecology and fisheries. She has worked since 1999 at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole, Massachusetts (USA) where she is a member of the stock assessment methods group that develops new methods for assessment of fish and invertebrate stocks off the northeastern US coast. She has been particularly involved with assessment and management of the Atlantic sea scallop (Placopecten magellanicus) fishery. She developed a theory of rotational fisheries that was the basis of a rotational fisheries management plan for sea scallops that helped rebuild this fishery and made it one of the most valuable fisheries in the US.

Dr John Norbury

Talk Title: Mixotrophy: the Missing Link in Ecology 

Short Biography

After an honours mathematics degree at the University of Queensland, I took a PhD at Cambridge in ideal fluid flow for steady vortex rings. Following lecturing at University College London and New York University, I lectured at Oxford University and held a fellowship of Lincoln College, which has now been made emeritus. For the past 12 years I have been researching on atmospheric convection and theoretical ecology.



Dr Roger Cropp

Talk Title: Modelling the Dynamics of Persistent Organic Pollutants in Antarctic Food Webs

Short Biography

I am a member of the School of Environment at Griffith University where I teach into the Marine Science program. My primary research interests are in theoretical ecology, with applications in the dynamics of persistent organic pollutants in marine ecosystems and marine mammals, and the role of marine plankton ecosystems in the production of climatically important gases.



Associate Professor Jason Sharples

Talk Title: Mathematical modelling of the dynamic evolution of bushfires

Short Biography

Jason Sharples is Associate Professor in Applied Mathematics in the School of Physical, Environmental and Mathematical Sciences at UNSW Canberra. Jason has lead a number of research projects that consider extreme and dynamic fire behaviour, the development of large conflagrations and bushfire risk management. He is also an Advanced Firefighter with the ACT Rural Fire Service.



Dr Trevor Hutton

Talk Title: Ecosystem Models with a Range of Complexities to Simulation Test Alternative Management Strategies: Current Research in Australia

Short Biography

Trevor Hutton has had a keen interest in applying multidisciplinary methodology to research on fisheries. His key research topics include bio-economic and ecological modelling, often using applications that combine these numerical processes within frameworks that capture oceanographic physical forcing and environmental factors, the elemental primary productivity processes, food-webs and human impacts such as fishing fleet dynamics. After beginning his career in South Africa as a graduate studying the offshore hake fishery, he then pursued further degrees in the UK (Cambridge), and Canada (UBC, Fisheries Centre). In 2000 he took up employment at the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science in Lowestoft (UK), a place steeped in the history of both fishing and fisheries science. Previously known as The Fisheries Laboratory (Lowestoft), CEFAS employs a range of scientists tasked to undertake field-based research, stock assessments and environmental impacts on fisheries. During his stay at the Centre, Trevor principally worked on EU-based projects, exploring new methods for estimating a range of factors with regard to fishing fleet dynamics: efficiency changes, location choice, as well as tactical measures to measure effort. He regularly attended the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (EU- Brussels) to present on the latter. Now based in Brisbane (CSIRO, Oceans and Atmosphere) his main research interests include the fisheries up North (Northern Prawn Fishery and Torres Strait fisheries).

Dr Éva Plagányi

Talk Title: MICE and MSE as tools for ecosystem management

Short Biography

Dr Éva Plagányi is a senior research scientist based at CSIRO’s Brisbane laboratories. She maintains an international reputation in stock assessment modelling, ecosystem modelling and management strategy evaluation (MSE). Together with her MICE (Models of Intermediate Complexity for Ecosystem assessments) team, she is working on developing  an intermediate complexity social-ecological framework. She also leads the research portfolio on the Torres Strait tropical rock lobster, including integrating biological, social, cultural and economic factors in an integrated MSE. She has published some 80 papers, >200 technical reports, 50 popular articles, and is on the editorial board of Ecological Applications and Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries.


In recent years growing numbers of mathematical scientists have been working to develop and apply mathematical and statistical theory to produce tools that will have a direct impact in the management of fisheries, forestry, water security, conservation, pest and disease management, and adaptation to global changes.  Their efforts have already had major impact on our understanding of important phenomena such as dynamics of ecosystems, sustainable fisheries, wildlife trafficking and bushfires.

This workshop aims to bring together many of the leading Australian researchers in these areas with three eminent international experts, early career researchers and PhD and Honours students  to report their latest findings and exchange ideas on future developments.  It will also provide early career researchers with a valuable forum to showcase and obtain feedback on their work from leading researchers in in their field and gain insights into the open challenges within the broader area of natural resource mathematics.

This event is sponsored by the Australian Mathematical Sciences Instituite (AMSI). AMSI allocates a travel allowance annually to each of its member universities (for a list of members, see

Students or early career researchers from AMSI member universities without access to a suitable research grant or other source of funding may apply to the Head of Mathematical Sciences for subsidy of travel and accommodation out of the departmental travel allowance. (See