Dr. Edwards is a Research Associate in Prof. Ransom Myers lab in the Department of Biology at Dalhousie University. His research involves mathematical
ecology in a variety of contexts. One current project involves re-examining Prof.~Stephen Hubbell's recently-published `Unified Neutral Theory of Biodiversity and Biogeography'. Alternative mathematical techniques are being used, with the goal of improving the formulation of the theory and making it easier to test. Dr. Edwards' other main current project is constructing dynamical models to examine changes in fish biodiversity due to large-scale industrial fishing. Markov Chain Monte Carlo methods are being used to assimilate the large amounts of data into the models.
Published work has included investigations of the sensitivity of the dynamics of plankton population models to changes in the functional forms and parameter values used to represent ecological processes, and to the number of compartments explicitly modelled. This latter aspect is related to biodiversity in the sense of asking how many species need to be explicitly modelled in a given situation. And how does this choice then affect a model's results and conclusions? Application of simple models of high-nitrate, low-chlorophyll regions have also been published, as have analyses of the potential for phytoplankton to modify physical currents.
Originally from England, Dr. Edwards obtained his undergraduate degree in mathematics from the University of Oxford. A summer-student research position at the Centre for Population Biology, Imperial College at Silwood Park, kindled an interest in ecological modelling and prompted him to pursue a PhD in Applied Mathematics at the University of Leeds. He then worked in Dr. Hal Caswell's mathematical ecology lab at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution before coming to Canada to join Dr. Trevor Platt's biological oceanography group at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography. He has published in biological, oceanographic and mathematical journals, reviewed manuscripts for over twenty scientific journals, and has been a judge in the successful CMB High School Essay Competitions.
Department of Biology,
Halifax, NS, B3H 4J1.