A Mixed Integer Programming approach to the spatio-temporal problem of fragmenting high fuel load areas in the landscape while considering the availability and connectivity of faunal habitat

Speaker: Prof. John Hearne
RMIT University

Title: A Mixed Integer Programming approach to the spatio-temporal problem of fragmenting high fuel load areas in the landscape while considering the availability and connectivity of faunal habitat

Date and time: Friday, 5 May 2017, 3:00–4:00pm
Location: Building 8 Level 9 Room 66 (AGR) RMIT City campus

Abstract: Wildfires are a threat to communities in many parts of the world and there is general consensus that this threat will be aggravated by climate change. Prescribed burning is a method used to reduce fuel loads in the landscape and hence the risk of large wildfires. But these actions impact on the habitat needs of fauna. Flora also have limited tolerances to such disturbances while fire-dependent species require a certain frequency of burning. Further, given constraints on resources to accomplish fuel-reduction tasks the question of ‘where and when to burn’ becomes complex. A spatio-temporal mixed integer programming model will be presented and illustrated to deal with this problem. The model attempts to maximise the spatial fragmentation of high fuel load while maximising connectivity of habitat.

Bio: Prof. John Hearne is a graduate of the universities of Cape Town and Pretoria in South Africa. He worked at the Atomic Energy Board of South Africa, the University of Zululand, and the University of Natal before moving to Australia in 2003. He has spent extended periods of research leave in New Zealand, San Diego, England and the Netherlands. Hearne is a former President of the Operations Research Society of South Africa and the current Past-President of the international Resource Modelling Association. He has a strong interest in ecology and the conservation and sustainable utilization of wildlife. He has applied his mathematical skills to problems relating to the management of ecosystems in both Africa and Australia. More recently he has worked on problems related to wildfires.

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