NZIMA programme on Modelling Invasive Species and Weed Impact

NZIMA programme on Modelling
Invasive Species and Weed Impact



Invasive, non-native species are a major component of global environmental change. The introduction, establishment and spread of species to locations outside their natural range as a result of human actions has caused significant environmental problems and imposes major economic and social costs worldwide. Recent out breaks of didymo and sea squirts are important examples of the relevance of this issue to New Zealand.

hieracium - click to view

There is a strong desire among New Zealand conservation organisations, environmental managers and ecologists to determine the optimal use of resources between the competing demands of controlling existing weeds and stopping new weeds, thus minimising the negative impacts on indigenous biodiversity and ecosystem processes. Building on local strengths in weed management, this programme will involve mathematicians, statisticians and ecologists. It will be the foundation of a longer term collaborative working group that will stimulate the design of a mathematical framework for exploring the spread and subsequent impact of invading organisms in New Zealand ecosystems.

NZIMA funded Research:

We are pleased to announce that two postgraduate scholarships have been awarded to Steven Wangen (BioProtection and Ecology Division, Lincoln University) and Meghan Williams (Mathematics and Statistics Department, University of Canterbury). In 2008/09 a postgraduate scholarship in modelling spatial distribution, growth and impact of productive weeds may be available. The NZIMA programme will also include follow-up workshops and regular newsletter style updates on the research.

Case Studies:

Case Study 1 (PDF, 32 KB) - A framework for weed management
Case Study 2 (PDF, 24 KB) - Modelling the emergence of weeds in heterogeneous environments
Case Study 3 (PDF, 24 KB) - Optimizing monitoring strategies


The programme will begin with a 5 day workshop in Hanmer in April 2007. Up to 6 international mathematicians and statisticians, along with about 35 New Zealanders, will be invited. The workshop's format will be introductory sessions by New Zealand weed managers outlining the current issues and problems in weed management in NZ, followed by sessions from the international invitees on the latest developments in relevant mathematical and statistical tools. Each day, in the follow-up sessions, the workshop attendees will identify the gap between the knowledge that can be gained from the the current mathematical models and what is needed by NZ weed managers. The NZIMA programme goal is to bridge that gap by stimulating relevant research amongst NZ mathematicians and statisticians.


16 - 20 April 2007.


Heritage Hanmer Springs
1 Conical Hill Road. (Here is a map)
Hanmer Springs


A list of people who attended the workshop can be viewed here.


Workshop Programme and references.


A selection of photos from the workshop can be viewed here.


Dr. Jennifer Brown
Dr. Alex James

Last updated 28 May 2007

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