MPPM theme - Maths for Plants and Plants for Maths



Statistics, modelling and numerical simulation have become essential tools and approaches in the study of many systems in biology, agronomy and ecology. Indeed, most of the studied systems are addressed by increasingly complex issues. Among these systems, we can highlight the study of - wild as well as cultivated - plant populations in tropical environments, and their interactions with global changes, plant - insect interactions, etc. In most of these systems, most of the biological, ecological or agronomic processes are not necessarily (well) known, and depending on the initial question(s), several modelling approaches can be used. Among them, Mathematical Modelling allows not only to represent (formalize) and simulate (very) complex systems, but also to study deeply the behaviour of the models (based on theoretical analysis results). However, while Mathematics are widely used in many areas in Life Sciences, paradoxically, they get used very little (except for Statistics) in the field of plants. As P. Cohen wrote "Mathematics Is Biology's Next Microscope, Only Better; Biology Is Mathematics' Next Physics, Only Better", 2004.


Propose theoretical and numerical approaches, while developing suitable analytical tools. Another main objective is the dialogue between thematic issues and the exploration and the use of new modelling formalisms.

Expected Results

  •  To develop mathematical tools/methods/approaches that to go further in the knowledge of plants and their interactions with the environment;
  •  To develop research (fundamental and/or applied) in Mathematics dedicated to Plant Sciences (including crop Protection.

Significant events

  •  IBNI 2015 Prize ( awarded to Valaire Yatat,doctoral student co-supervized by Y. Dumont, for his PhD thesis work on the dynamics of Forests-Savanna;
  •  Y. Dumont has been a plenary speaker at several conferences in Applied Mathematics (BIOMATH, ICAMI, etc.) in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019;
  •  P. Couteron was a plenary speaker at the BIOMATH2017 conference;
  •  P. Couteron organized a session on "Mathematics applied to the production, dynamics and diversity of plant populations" at the MADEV 2017 conference (Mathematics Applied to DEVeloppement issues;, in Rabat, Morocco;
  •  Y. Dumont was appointed Extra-ordinary Professor at the University of Pretoria (South Africa) in 2019.
  •  Fakih et al. (2019) and Strugarek et al. (2019) were selected as "featured" articles of April 2019 in Physical Review and Applied Mathematical Modeling respectively

Main funded projects

Acronym Title Duration
CERATIS CORSEGestion Territoriale de la Ceratite en Corse par la Technique de l’Insecte Stérile2020 - 2023
GEMDOTISEvaluation de la faisabilité d'une GEstion Multi-échelles d’un ravageur invasif Bactrocera DOrsalis sur manguier à La Réunion, incluant la Technique de l’Insecte Stérile2019 - 2022
DEEP2PDEIdentification de modèles continus mathématiques pour les plantes par réseau de neurones profonds à partir de représentations architecturales voxélisées2019 - 2019
EPITAGModélisation et Contrôle en Epidémiologie pour l’Agronomie Tropicale2017 - 2019
PHC DUMONT-DURVILLESimulation du transport de sucrose dans le phloeme des arbres2017 - 2018
FRUIT FLY INVASIONSBiological Control and Mathematical Modelling 2015 - 2016
ELA-PALMModélisation des Interactions Elaeidobius-Palmier2014 - 2020

Theses defended

  •  Lebon, A., 2014. Compensation in plant-insect interactions: modelling, simulation and experimentation. PhD thesis - Univ of Montpellier II (supervisor: Y. Dumont, CIRAD funding). Teacher.
  •  Mathieu A. 2015. Biological control of the invasive plant Rubus alceifolius (Rosaceae) by Cibdela janthina (Hymenoptera : Argidae) in Reunion Island: Biology and mathematical modelling of interactions under altitudinal stress. Phd Thesis - Univ. of La Réunion (Co-supervisors: Y. Dumont & S. Quilici (CIRAD), financed by ANSES and Région Réunion). Engineer (private sector, Reunion Island)
  •  Dufourd C. 2016. Spatio-temporal mathematical models of insect trapping: analysis, parameter estimation and applications to control. Phd Thesis - Univ. of Pretoria (Co-supervisors: Y. Dumontt & R. Anguelov (U. Pretoria), funded by Univ. of Pretoria). Part-time lecturer (South Africa)
  •  Tchuinté Tamen A. 2017. Study of a generic Mathematical Model of Forest-Savanna interactions: case of Cameroon. Phd Thesis - Univ. 1 Yaoundé 1 (Co-supervisors: P. Couteron & S. Bowong (U. Douala), CETIC+INRIA+IRD+SCAC Funding). Student (Canada)
  •  Yatat V. 2018. Mathematical analysis of size-structured tree-grass interactions models for Savanna ecosystems.. PhD Thesis - Univ. Yaoundé 1 (Co-supervisors: Y. Dumont & J.J. Tewa (U. Yaoundé I), CETIC+INRIA+IRD+SCAC Funding). Post-Doctorate (Univ. Pretoria, South Africa; responsible: Y. Dumont).

Theses in progress

  •  Djoukwe Tapi, M. 2015-2019. Modeling and simulation of Cocoa - Mirides interactions. Doula University, Cameroon (Co-supervisors: Y. Dumont & S. Bowong (U. of Douala), CIRAD+CETIC+INRIA Funding).
  •  Nembot Fomba, C. G. 2016-2020. On the brown rot of the cocoa tree. Modeling, analysis and simulations. Thesis Univ. 1 Yaoundé 1, Cameroon (Co-supervisors: Y. Dumont & M. van Hoopen (CIRAD), CETIC+SCAC Funding).
  •  Matusse, A. 2019-2022. Mathematical modelling and analysis of co-infection in cultures. Univ. Pretoria, South Africa (Co-supervisors: Y. Dumont & M. Chapwanya (U. Pretoria), Funded by the Government of Mozambique and Univ. of Pretoria).
  •  Cosme, M. 2018-2021. Discrete model of spatialized agroecosystems. Thesis ED Gaia, Univ. Montpellier (Supervisor: C. Gaucherel, Sesasa-LeapAgri project; ANR funding).

Main scientific production (ACL only)

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