Event Detail

Event Type: 
Mathematical Biology Seminar
Thursday, April 23, 2015 - 12:00 to 13:00
GILK 115

Speaker Info


Water, energy and food are needed for the health and prosperity of humanity (a subset of article 25 in the universal declaration of human rights). Each resource must be managed, treated, refined and delivered prior to consumption. Human activity already uses 37% of the Earth’s net primary production, and water scarcity is an issue for many arid environments. The majority of the power consumed is not sustainable. Given that the natural supply of these resources is limited, and that the world population is ever increasing, it seems that “Through overpopulation we have put ourselves in danger of running out of food and water. So a very Faustian choice is upon us: whether to accept our corrosive and risky behavior as the unavoidable price of population and economic growth, or to take stock of ourselves and search for a new environmental ethic” –E.O. Wilson. The energy-water-food nexus is the realization that the resource management pathways of water, energy and food are interwoven. Energy is an input in the water and food refinement pathways, water is an input in the Energy and Food refinement pathways, and food can be an input in the energy refinement pathway. Therefore, a holistic vision is needed. This talk will explore those connections schematically, with the hope to inspire a collaborative modelling project.