Red Squirrel Conservation in a Mathematical Nutshell with Andy White

Heriot-Watt University - Online 28th Sep 7.00pm-8.00pm Free

How can mathematics be used to help conserve the endangered red squirrel in the UK?

Professor Andy White - whose research is focused on applying mathematics to understand and manage wildlife systems - will explain the plight of red squirrels in the UK, how mathematical models were key tools in understanding the role of invasive grey squirrels and squirrelpox disease in the replacement of red squirrels, and how mathematics is being used to design forest management plans to conserve the remaining red squirrels in Scotland.

The red squirrel is one of the UKs best loved species – but now can only be found in Scotland and Northern Ireland and in isolated regions in England and Wales. This talk will give a history of red squirrel persistence in the UK, describe how mathematical equations can represent the abundance, movement and interaction of squirrel populations and how this can be used to develop red squirrel conservation policy. You do not need to be a mathematical expert to enjoy the talk – which is suitable for all with an interest in mathematics and/or wildlife.


Andy White is a Professor of Mathematics at Heriot-Watt University. He undertakes research in collaboration with biological scientists to design strategies to protect native species from introduced invasive species and to manage infectious disease in wildlife species. He has published over 80 articles that have received widespread press interest – most recently on how ‘Scottish forests could save red squirrels from extinction’ – The Guardian, August 2021.

The talk is suitable for adults and youngsters (age 10+) alike.

People who wish to attend must register via Eventbrite:

Ticket holders will receive an email on the day of the event with instructions on how to join the online event, which is kindly hosted by the International Centre for Mathematical Sciences (ICMS).

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