Louis Gross


1979 – Ph.D., Cornell University

Research Interests

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Mathematical and computational ecology; environmental modeling and restoration; grid-computing and multimodeling of ecological systems linked to abiotic influences; spatial optimization and control in conservation ecology and natural resource management; quantitative curricula and training for the life sciences.

Multimodeling and Everglades Restoration

In collaboration with Donald DeAngelis of the US Geological Survey, the staff of The Institite for Environmental Modeling and numerous colleagues, the ATLSS Project(Across Trophic Level Sytem Simulation) has been developed as one of the largest ecological modeling initiatives ever attempted, with the objective of providing a firm scientific basis for public policy decisions governing long-term water planning in South Florida. This is a multimodel, linking together models for biological components (species, functional groups) operating at differing spatial and temporal scales with physical system components. These provide a method for relative comparisons of the impacts of alternative hydrologic scenarios on various biotic components, meeting the diverse needs of numerous stakeholder groups involved in Everglades planning.

Grid-computing, parallelization and computational ecology

We have developed the first applications of grid-computing to natural resource modeling, building the capacity for resource managers at diverse locations to utilize the computational facilities at Tennessee to simulate and analyze Everglades restoration scenarios. As part of this, we have been developing new methods to parallelize ecological models of various types.

Spatial control of natural systems

I believe that most problems of applied ecology can be phrased as ones of spatial control: what to do, where to do it, how to implement it, and how to assess the implications of the actions taken. In collaboration with numerous colleagues, I have been developing both theoretical aspects of spatial control in application to natural systems, as well as very applied aspects such as methods for controlling certain invasive species.

Quantitative education in the life sciences

I have developed over the past decade a variety of courses, modules, workshops and curricular materials to assist the mathematical and computational training of life science undergraduates. The entry-level mathematics sequence I developed was used as a case-study in the Bio2010 report and some other aspects of my educational initaives are described on our Quantitive Bioeducation pages.