Author: Kara Morley
Date: March 22, 2018
Categories: Education|Mathematics

Houghton College junior Brielle Kwarta was recently accepted into the 2018 Summer Research Experiences program at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS).

NIMBioS brings together researchers from around the globe to collaborate across disciplines and find creative solutions to complex biological problems present in the world today. The summer research program takes place for eight weeks in Tennessee and provides a valuable opportunity for undergraduate students to conduct research with professors from the University of Tennessee, NIMBioS researchers, and other collaborators.

Kwarta, a mathematics major, is only the second Houghton student to be accepted into the program, after 2017 graduate Zhimin (Penny) Wu.

Kwarta will work alongside other students on a research project titled “Modeling the Management of Feral Cats with Economic Impacts.” The goal is to create a population model of feral cats based on data from cat colonies in Knox County, Tennessee. The model, when paired with the economic costs of possible management strategies of the cat population, will provide insights regarding policy decisions.

“It will be a great experience to learn more about the synthesis of my two favorite subjects: math and biology,” Kwarta remarks. Additionally, she is interested in learning how she can “make a difference in the world by using math.”

NIMBioS is a National Science Foundation sponsored initiative to foster interdisciplinary research at the interface between mathematical and biological sciences. Additional NIMBioS sponsors include the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.


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