University of Miami
Department of Mathematics

Simon A. Levin

Simon A. Levin

James S. McDonnell Distinguished Professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Princeton University

will present

Mathematical Ecology:
A Century of Progress, and Challenges for the Next Century

Thursday, March 2, 2017, 5:30pm
The Braman Miller Center

Light refreshment reception to follow the lecture
All interested persons are welcome to attend.

Abstract: The subject of mathematical ecology is one of the oldest and most exciting in mathematical biology, and has helped in the management of natural systems and infectious diseases. Though many problems remain in those areas, we face new challenges today in finding ways to cooperate in managing our Global Commons. From behavioral and evolutionary perspectives, our societies display conflict of purpose or fitness across levels, leading to game-theoretic problems in understanding how cooperation emerges in Nature, and how it might be realized in dealing with problems of the Global Commons. This lecture will attempt to weave these topics together and both survey recent work, and offer challenges for how mathematics can contribute to open problems.


Dr. Simon Asher Levin is the James S. McDonnell Distinguished Professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University. He received his B.A. in Mathematics from The Johns Hopkins University in 1961 and his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in 1964. He was an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California at Berkeley from 1964 to 1965, when he joined the faculty of Cornell University. He served at Cornell until 1992, becoming the Charles A. Alexander Professor of Biological Sciences in 1985. In 1992, he joined the faculty of Princeton and was the George M. Moffett Professor of Biology from 1992 until 2016, when he became the McDonnell Professor.

Professor Levin is one of the world's foremost experts at the interface of mathematics and biology and was inducted into the National Academy of Sciences in 2000 and named a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1992. Among his many honors, Dr. Levin is the recipient of the Robert MacArthur Award from the Ecological Society of America (1988), the first Okubo Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Mathematical Biology and the Japanese Society for Mathematical Biology (2001), the A.H. Heineken Prize for Environmental Sciences from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (2004), the Kyoto Prize in Basic Sciences from the Inamori Foundation of Japan (2005), the Margalef Prize in Ecology (2010), the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement (2014) and the National Medal of Science (2014).

Professor Levin has served on numerous science and advisory boards and committees. Currently, among others, he serves as the Vice-Chair for Mathematics for the Committee of Concerned Scientists, on the Science Advisory Board of the Sante Fe Institute, and as Chair of the Committee to select the American Mathematical Society's Gibbs Lecturers for 2018 and 2019.

Last but definitely not least, Professor Levin has served as thesis supervisor or postdoctoral mentor for over 100 mathematical and biological scientists. This legacy has and will affect the direction of the work at the interface of mathematics and biology for decades to come.


The McKnight-Zame Distinguished Lecture Series is made possible by a generous donation from Dr. Jeffry Fuqua (Ph.D., UM, 1972). These annual lectures are named in honor of Professor James McKnight, who directed Dr. Fuqua's Ph.D. thesis, and Professor Alan Zame, who was a close mentor of Dr. Fuqua.