Marjorie Wonham







Inside Out





My research is focused primarily on biological invasions: the success, impacts, and sources of introduced species, across temporal and spatial scales. I work at the interface of biological and mathematical approaches to understanding invasion dynamics in marine and aquatic species, and infectious diseases. Some current projects are described here.

Marine and aquatic invasions

Where will introduced species establish?
The chance that an introduced invader will establish depends in part on how many individuals are introduced, the species population dynamics, and the influence of abiotic factors. I am developing a modeling approach to visualise how environmental variables affect population dynamics in two invasive species on the Pacific coast of North America, the mitten crab Eriocheir sinensis and the varnish clam Nuttallia obscurata. This work is in collaboration with Mark Lewis at the Centre for Mathematical Biology (CMB), Colin Levings at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), and the Canadian Aquatic Invasive Species Network (CAISN).

How can modeling inform our understanding of biological invasions?
Dynamic mathematical modeling has a long history of providing insight into ecological processes. I am examining the use of mathematical models in exploring marine invasion dynamics in particular. This work is in collaboration with Mark Lewis at the Centre for Mathematical Biology (CMB).

Emerging infectious diseases

How can we best control emerging infectious diseases?
West Nile virus is an introduced, emerging infectious disease in North America. I am studying how the underlying assumptions built into epidemiological models of West Nile virus and other diseases influence the predictions we make for disease outbreaks and control. This work is in collaboration with Mark Lewisat the Centre for Mathematical Biology (CMB), Pauline van den Driessche at the University of Victoria, and Joanna Renclawowicz.

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