Whether developing better strategies to control the spread of invasive species or determining the best way to combat wildfires, the techniques allow researchers to take a broader, more systematic approach to finding the best possible solutions.
"We believe this center is poised to be a global hub for mathematical and biological research," said Gross. "By taking a unique approach to scientific collaboration across a variety of disciplines, NIMBioS will have an immediate impact."
According to Jim Collins, NSF assistant director for biological sciences, the center reflects recent shifts in biology.
"At the start of the 21st century, biologists will become increasingly quantitative and interdisciplinary," said Collins. "This new institute has a broad mandate to pursue excellence at the interface of the life sciences and mathematics. In fulfilling this mission it complements previous and current efforts to stimulate quantitative thinking in biology while fostering interdisciplinary research and education. NIMBioS is an exciting addition to an increasing NSF portfolio at the interface of the life and physical sciences."
NIMBioS will bring together small groups of researchers from mathematics, biology and other fields to investigate very specific applied issues that face the country, as well as fundamental scientific problems.
"This is about connecting the right people with one another, and then facilitating that connection," said Graham Hickling, an associate professor of forestry, wildlife and fisheries at the UT Institute of Agriculture. Hickling serves as associate director for partner relations at NIMBioS.
In addition to these small working groups, the institute will host
larger gatherings on biological topics and on how to apply the tools of
computational science to biology in general. Sergey Gavrilets, a professor
of math and ecology and evolutionary biology at
|SOURCE University of Tennessee|
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