Takenori Takada Hokkaido University Graduate School of Environmental Science

The academic field of our laboratory is ‘mathematical biology’, a kind of mixture of mathematics and biology. The history of mathematical biology in Japan started from the publication of a Japanese book, entitled “Introduction of mathematical biology”. It was in 1950 when Professor Yusaku Komatsu (University of Tokyo) published the textbook. The purpose of mathematical biology is to solve a plenty of questions in biological phenomena using mathematical models and computer simulation. Our laboratory specializes in mathematical models in ecology. The field, what is called ‘mathematical ecology’, clarified the mechanisms of dynamics and evolution both in populations and communities. We use projection matrix models, competition models and game theory etc., as the mathematical tools. The activity of mathematical ecologists contributes much to Japanese societies of Ecology, Population Ecology and Plant Species Biology. In these thirty years, the usefulness of mathematical models has been accepted in ecology and many young mathematical ecologists won the prizes in those societies.

Recently, we have just begun the analysis of big data on population dynamics. That is the reason big data on the dynamics of plant and animal populations became available on line (COMPADRE and COMADRE) in 2014 and 2015. These databases aggregated the results of field study on 2200 species and allow us to synthesize the statistical results of each species and to examine the common and special characteristics of the species. We are looking forward to seeing the result.