Title:Smart strategies based on population control models with bi-stable dynamics
Abstract: In 2018 our Department celebrated 10 years since Biomathematics was initiated as a strategic research direction. During the decade, through various activities, we built expertise and also collaborative links with the School of Biological Sciences. A main achievement is that since 2013 the Department hosts a DST/NRF Research Chair in Mathematical Methods and Models in Bioengineering and Biosciences. The areas of applications of our research are typically related to challenges Africa is facing. I will discuss two such applications: (i) Mating disruption and mass male annihilation technique for insect control. This modelling work relates to the need to control the invasion of cossid moth (native species) into eucalyptus (not native species) forestry plantations with strong negative impact on the industry. (ii) Sterile insect technique for control of mosquito populations. The work is linked to the Institute of Sustainable Malaria Control at our University and is in collaboration with CIRAD at Reunion island, France. From a mathematical point of view both models have bi-stable dynamics, which allow for designing efficient control strategies using minimal resources.