We want to apply our knowledge of mathematical modelling, which has solved so many problems, to a problem that has been annoying us personally for many years, being bitten by mosquitos. Our project aims to develop a model for population dynamics of mosquitoes in the area around the Callaghan campus. The model will incorporate major factors underlying the change in mosquito population including growth, death, migration and spreading (due to diffusion, wind and seasonal change). Then we will study the impact on the population once controlling methods are introduced to the model (e.g. chemical insecticides and other biological control techniques). The effectiveness of each control mechanism will be identified in order to best control the spreading of mosquitoes in the area under specified environmental conditions. Numerical calculations will be used to simulate the spreading of mosquitoes with various factors considered, including open water sources where mosquitoes breed, population density of human as their food source, season and weather.

What it does

We will produce a mathematical model and numerical simulations of population density of mosquitoes under various environmenal conditions and control mechanisms. Our vision is to come up with a population model of mosquitoes on Callaghan campus and nearby region and a simulation scheme that allow us to visualise and understand the dynamics of spreading of mosquitoes when controlling techniques are implemented. This will lead to better and more effective control mechanisms.

How we built it

This project will be brought to the Mathematics in Industry Study Group (MISG) which will be held at NewSpace on 28 Jan - 1 Feb. The workshop will bring mathematicians, statisticians, physical scientists including biologists, computer scientists and engineers to tackle this problem over a one week period. Team members together with the delegates at the workshop will work together to develop the model, produce a computational code and generate simulation of the model in consultaion with our biologist team members.

Challenges we ran into

We are awaiting to hear if there will be a member from the conservation biology group in the Faculty of Science at UON to join our team. If this does not happen, then we will invite biologists (and mathematicians working in biology) from other institutes to join us as part of MISG.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Since 1984, MISG workshop has brought together leading applied mathematicians, statisticians, physical scientists and engineers from universities, the public and the private sector from across Australia, New Zealand and around the world to tackle many complex physical and technical problems. The MISG is an exciting and dynamic forum where academics and researchers can apply their expert knowledge in the mathematical, physical and engineering sciences to help solve real world, industrially-relevant problems. With the broad knowledge and expertise across mathematical and physical sciences, we are very positive that the project will deliver promised outcomes. We ourselves have solved many mathematical modelling problems which have led to innovations in areas of science and engineering.

What we learned

There are a number of mathematical models that have been proposed to consider population dynamics of mosquitoes in tropical countries, but there are not currently models for the special mosquitos and conditions we have in the Hunter. We will explore the existing tropical mosquito models and start building our new model based on the many unique factors associated with the environmental conditions and terrian in the Callaghan area.

What's next for Mathematical modelling of mosquito population dynamics at UON

MISG@UON, 28 Jan - 1 Feb: this project will be posed on MISG Website ( Meylan, Lamichhane, Georgiou and Thamwattana will tackle this project together with MISG's participants from other universities in Australia, New Zealand and overseas. With an array of expertises ranging from people who work in population dynamics, mathematical biology, applied mathematical modelling, computational mathematics, statistical mechanics, data science, to graph theory, we are confident that we can make significant outcomes at MISG leading to the ability to predict and control the mosquito invasion in Callaghan and the nearby area. We anticipate that this model will help guide existing control methods and test new tecniques theoretically, before implementing in real-life with human population. Moreover, with the collaboration with a group of researchers in medical mathematics, we envisage the model to be coupled with epidemiology models such as Susceptible-Infection-Recovery (SIR) model to investigate the dynamics of disease associated with the mosquitoes. Another dimension is to include factor of financial cost in the model to assist in public health decisions.

Built With

  • finite-volume-method
  • maple
  • mathematical-modelling
  • matlab
  • partial-differential-equations
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