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[Bionews] Call for Applications: Morphological Plant Models, a NIMBioS Investigative Workshop

Catherine Crawley via bionews%40net.bio.net (by ccrawley from nimbios.org)
Wed May 27 12:54:33 EST 2015


The National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis 
(NIMBioS) is now accepting applications for its Investigative Workshop, 
"Morphological Plant Models," to be held September 2-4, 2015, at NIMBioS.

*Objectives: *An increasing population faces the growing demand for 
agricultural products. Accurate global climate models that account for 
individual plant morphologies are needed to predict favorable human 
habitat. At the heart of addressing the problems of climate change and 
food security is the challenge of modeling plant morphology under field 
conditions, which requires the integration of plant biology and 
mathematics. An improved understanding of the mechanistic origins of 
plant development requires geometric and topological descriptors to 
characterize the phenotype of plants and its link to genotypes. However, 
the current plant phenotyping framework relies on simple length and 
diameter measurements, which fail to capture the exquisite architecture 
of plants.This workshop aims to set new frontiers in combining plant 
phenotyping with recent results from shape theory at the interface of 
geometry and topology. We will explore the potential of new mathematical 
concepts to analyze and quantify the relationship between morphological 
plant features. Plant biologists and theorists will participate in 
presentations and group discussions focused on developing plant science 
questions that can be answered innovatively. We will explore novel 
techniques, including persistent homology, graph-theory, and shape 
statistics to tackle questions in crop breeding, developmental biology, 
and vegetation modeling. The limitations of technological systems to 
capture plant morphology above and below ground will be discussed in 
order to focus on the application of existing concepts and the need to 
identify new mathematical directions.

The mathematical/computational focus will be to identify current cutting 
edge techniques to analyze, model, and describe plants from the cell to 
the organ level and identify mathematical challenges in plant science 
applications. The biological focus will be on how biologists can develop 
datasets and provide perspectives to establish simple model systems that 
employ favorable mathematical and technological constraints to discover 
special cases for later generalization. The scientific goal is to 
develop a suite of biological questions that allow participants to 
jointly pioneer the use and development of geometric and topological 
methods within the plant sciences. The synergy provided from uniting 
these disparate disciplines will potentially fuel future collaborations 
and hasten new studies and perspectives in plant phenotyping.

*Location: *NIMBioS at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville

*Co-Organizers: *Alexander Bucksch, <http://www.bucksch.nl/>Schools of 
Interactive Computing and Biology, Georgia Institute of Technology, 
Atlanta and Dan Chitwood <http://www.chitwoodlab.org/>, Donald Danforth 
Plant Science Center, St. Louis

For more information about the workshop and a link to the online 
application form, go to http://www.nimbios.org/workshops/WS_plantmorph

Participation in the workshop is by application only. Individuals with a 
strong interest in the topic are encouraged to apply, and successful 
applicants will be notified within two weeks of the application 
deadline. If needed, financial support for travel, meals, and lodging is 
available for workshop attendees.

*Application deadline:* June 29, 2015

The National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis 
(NIMBioS) (http://www.nimbios.org) brings together researchers from 
around the world to collaborate across disciplinary boundaries to 
investigate solutions to basic and applied problems in the life 
sciences. NIMBioS is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, with 
additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.


*****************************
Catherine Crawley, Ph.D.
Communications Manager
National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS)
University of Tennessee
1122 Volunteer Blvd, Ste. 106
Knoxville, TN 37996
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