St Cross Talk: “The Desk-Bound Naturalist: An Unlikely Career as a Game Theorist”

Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Event type: 

Tuesday 14 November
5.30pm - 6.30pm
West Wing Lecture Theatre
Drinks to follow

Book tickets

Brief biography:

Mike Mesterton-Gibbons grew up in Coventry and graduated in 1974 with a BA in Mathematics from the University of York and in 1977 with a DPhil in Applied Mathematics from the University of Oxford.  He moved to the US in 1982 for a tenure-track position in the Department of Mathematics at Florida State University, where he has been a full professor since 1996 and recently became an emeritus professor.  His research develops game-theoretic models of animal behaviour, on which he has published numerous articles.  He is also the author of three texts on modelling and optimization, and until recently was an editor for Journal of Theoretical Biology.


The Desk-Bound Naturalist: An Unlikely Career as a Game Theorist


I joined Florida State University as an assistant professor in 1982 to teach mathematics and to do research on fluid dynamics, a natural enough progression, since my DPhil thesis was on magnetohydrodynamics and I had later worked on helicopter dynamics.  Yet I have done no research on fluid dynamics ever since.  Improbably, given that I have never taken a course in biology, my career has instead been dominated by models of animal behaviour known as games, usually developed in collaboration with biologists in an effort to answer questions raised by their field studies.  I will begin my presentation by describing the work that I ended up doing (in a wholly non-technical fashion).  I will then talk about how I got there, sharing my perspective on life abroad in academe.