Alan Hastings

University of California, Davis

Primary Section: 63, Environmental Sciences and Ecology
Secondary Section: 64, Human Environmental Sciences
Membership Type: Member (elected 2015)


Alan Hastings is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at the University of California, Davis. Hastings is a theoretical ecologist, recognized for his work on dynamics of ecological populations and for his theoretical work on questions of applied interest including management using marine reserves and control of invasive species. Hastings was born in Riverhead, New York in 1953, and received a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics in 1973 and a PhD in Applied Mathematics in 1977 from Cornell University. He was an assistant professor of Mathematics at Washington State University from 1977-1979 and joined the faculty at the University of California, Davis in 1979. Hastings is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Ecological Society of America and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics and received the Robert H. MacArthur Award from the Ecological Society of America in 2006.

Research Interests

Dr. Hastings’ research is focused broadly on understanding the dynamics of ecological populations in space and time. Recent work has looked at questions that arise from important applied problems and shed light on management approaches. This work includes understanding the dynamics of exploited populations, fishery management and the management of invasive species, and makes use of ideas from bioeconomics. A key issue is understanding the dynamics of ecological populations on timescales relevant for ecology rather than focusing on asymptotic behavior. The study of these transient dynamics leads to challenging mathematical issues. Work on timescale in ecology also includes investigations of the dynamics of tipping points in ecological systems and dynamics of spatial synchrony. Ideas from statistical physics are proving useful in the study of synchrony.

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