Accession Number:



The Stochastics of Movement Ecology

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report,28 Jan 2014,27 Jan 2017

Corporate Author:

University of Florida - Gainesville Gainesville United States

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



Due to the rapid growth of animal movement data obtained by GPS, radio tracking collars and other means, there is a growing recognition that classical models of encounter rates among animal populations should be revisited. Recent theoretical investigations have demonstrated that biologically relevant modifications to classical assumptions about individual behavior can bring about non-trivial changes in the formulation of population-scale dynamical systems. In particular, the combination of tracking data with habitat information has revealed the substantial impact that environmental factors have on animal movement and sociality. This project directly confronts popular models for animal movement that are neither mathematically sound nor ecologically coherent. In our work, we deconstruct the existing conventional wisdom that supports the use of so-called Levy flight models that seek to describe animal movement in the absence of environmental cues, and, through a few examples, we make the case that animal movement patterns should not be separated from the spatial environmental features that shape them. In fact, animal sensing and decision-making are leading-order effects, and their study gives rise to new ecological observations and novel mathematical challenges.

Subject Categories:

  • Numerical Mathematics

Distribution Statement: