Type: Seminar

Distribution: World

Expiry: 28 May 2008

Auth: wm@p6283.pc.maths.usyd.edu.au

Mathematical models of honeybee swarms and neural crest cells migrating into the developing gut system in embryos result in behaviours and trajectories that can be quantified. The outcomes of these models are samples of directions of travel of the individuals. The use of conventional linear statistical techniques is inappropriate in this context. Spherical probability theory has been developed for the study of directional data and this theory best reflects the physical situation being modelled. I shall discuss some relevant spherical theory and introduce a suite of statistical tools that researchers in directional animal movement may find useful. I shall illustrate by applying these tools to a model of guidance of honeybee swarms. I shall also discuss applications of these ideas to cell migrations (the mathematical modelling of these same cell migrations will be discussed by Kerry Landman next week).