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Vowel shift


My research typically involves a lead role in collaborations that span multiple fields of science and mathematics, and have included teams of up to twelve researchers. Much of my work is computational in nature and implemented in Python with various efficiency tweaks (parallel processing, GPU computation, C libraries) as needed. Some examples of my code can be found on my Github page.

Currently, my work focuses on epidemic modeling of opioid addiction, wind- and water-based movement of organisms under various behavioral regimes, and pattern formation in locust swarms. I advise two graduate students in mathematics with one former graduate student starting a tenure-track position in the Fall of 2020.

Past research projects include aerial dispersal of seeds and parasitoid wasps over multiple scales. In the latter case, having formulated a new mathematical model for wasp spread, I developed CUDA powered software in Python that provides meter-scale resolution results over an area nearly 20 km^2 in size. Bayesian inference is used to fit the parameters to field data.

I have also worked on the development of a savanna model that explores how savanna ecosystems are dependent upon various climatic variables and fire disturbance. Using a mathematically transparent model for water resource availability and stand structure, we demonstrated how seasonal rainfall distribution, and esp. seasonal drought, can act as the primary determinant for stand structure through soil water dynamics, with frequent fire disturbance able to reduce population from a climatically stable state.


Oak Ridge National Lab (Prime Sponsor: US Dept. of Veterans Affairs). Quantifying Environmental Factors for Opioid Use Disorder. PI, $617,243 (UTK total: $804,062), Feb. 2023 - Dec. 2025.

Auburn University (Prime Sponsor: NSF). NSF INCLUDES Alliance: The Alliance of Students with Disabilities for Inclusion, Networking, and Transition Opportunities in STEM (TAPDINTO-STEM). Co-PI, $237,122, 2021-2026.

Simons Foundation. Collaboration Grant for Mathematicians. PI, $42,000, 2018-2023.

Burroughs Wellcome Fund. Enhancing Quantitative and Data Science Education for Graduate Students in Biomedical Science. Senior Personnel, $149,823, 2018-2020.

Workshop funding from AIMS (SQuaREs), NIMBioS, IAS, and AMS (MRC)


Journal Publications

Pearcy, Lenhart, Strickland (2024)

    Structural instability and linear allocation control in generalized models of substance use disorder. Mathematical Biosciences, 371, 109169.

Elzinga, Strickland (2023)

    Generalized stressors on hive and forager bee colonies. Bulletin of Mathematical Biology, 85(122).

Elzinga, Beckford, Strickland (2023)

    A mathematical model of the impacts of climate change on the winter tick epizootic in mooseEcological Modelling, 483, 110421.

Gross, McCord, LoRe, Ganusov, Hong, Strickland, Talmy, von Arnim, Wiggins (2023)

    Prioritization of the concepts and skills in quantitative education for graduate students in biomedical sciencePLOS ONE, 18, 1-12.

Hamlet, Strickland, Battista, Miller (2023)

    Multiscale flow between the branches and polyps of gorgoniansJournal of Experimental Biology, 266(5): jeb244520.

Phillips, Gaoue, Lenhart, Strickland (2023)

    Modeling the effects of size-dependent harvesting strategies on the population dynamics of tropical treesMathematical Biosciences, 355, 108953.

Strickland, Battista, Hamlet, Miller (2022)

    Planktos: An agent-based modeling framework for small organism movement and dispersal in a fluid environment with immersed structures. Bulletin of Mathematical Biology, 84(72).

Smith, DeLong, Boyer, Thompson, Lenhart, Strickland, Burgess, Tian, Talley, Machtinger, Trout Fryxell (2021)

    A call for the development of a sustainable pest management program for the economically important pest flies of livestock: a beef cattle perspectiveJournal of Integrated Pest Management, 13(1), 14.

Phillips, Lenhart, Strickland (2021)

    A data-driven mathematical model of the heroin and fentanyl epidemic in Tennessee. Bulletin of Mathematical Biology, 83(97).

Senter, Douglas, Strickland, Thomas, Talkington, Miller, Battista (2020)

    A semi-automated finite difference mesh creation method for use with immersed boundary software including IB2d and IBAMR (Published Version), Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, 16, 016008.

Bernoff, Culshaw-Maurer, Everett, Hohn, Strickland, Weinburd (2020)

    Agent-based and continuous models of hopper bands for the Australian plague locust: How resource consumption can mediate pulse formation and geometryPLOS Computational Biology, 16(5), e1007820.

Ozalp, Miller, Dombrowski, Braye, Dix, Pongracz, Howell, Klotsa, Pasour, Strickland (2020)

    Experiments and agent based models of zooplankton movement within complex flow environmentsBiomimetics, 5(1), 2.

Beckman, Aslan, Rogers, Kogan, Bronstein, Bullock, Hartig, HilleRisLambers, Zhou, Zurrell, Brodie, Bruna, Cantrell, Decker, Effiom, Fricke, Gurski, Hastings, Johnson, Loiselle, Miriti, Neubert, Pejchar, Poulsen, Pufal, Razafindratsima, Sandor, Shea, Schreiber, Schupp, Snell, Strickland, Zambrano (2019)

    Advancing an interdisciplinary framework to study seed dispersal ecologyAoB Plants, plz048.

Rogers, Beckman, Hartig, Johnson, Pufal, Shea, Zurell, Bullock, Cantrell, Loiselle, Pejchar, Razafindratsima, Sandor, Schupp, Strickland, Zambrano (2019)

    The total dispersal kernel: a review and future directionsAoB Plants, plz042.

Battista, Pearcy, Strickland (2019)

    Modeling the opioid epidemic. Bulletin of Mathematical Biology, 81(7), 2258-2289. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Bulletin of Mathematical Biology. The final authenticated version is available online at

Some press:

Aslan, Beckman, Rogers, Bronstein, Zurell, Hartig, Shea, Pejchar, Neubert, Poulsen, HilleRisLambers, Miriti, Loiselle, Effiom, Zambrano, Schupp, Pufal, Johnson, Bullock, Brodie, Bruna, Cantrell, Decker, Fricke, Gurski, Hastings, Kogan, Razafindratsima, Sandor, Schreiber, Snell, Strickland, Zhou (2019)

    Employing plant functional groups to advance seed dispersal ecology and conservationAoB Plants, 11(2), plz006.

Snell, Beckman, Fricke, Loiselle, Carvalho, Jones, Lichti, Lustenhouwer, Schreiber, Strickland, Sullivan, Cavazos, Giladi, Hastings, Holbrook, Jongejans, Kogan, Montano-Centellas, Rudolph, Rogers, Zwolak, Schupp (2019)

    Consequences of intraspecific variation in seed dispersal for plant demography, communities, evolution, and global changeAoB Plants, 11(4), plz016.

Battista, Strickland, Barrett, Miller (2018)

    IB2d Reloaded: an updated Python and MATLAB implementation of the immersed boundary method. Mathematical Methods in the Applied Sciences, 41(18), 8455-8480.

Strickland, Kristensen, Miller (2017)

    Inferring stratified parasitoid dispersal mechanisms and parameters from coarse data using mathematical and Bayesian methodsRoyal Society Interface, 14, 20170005. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of the article published in Royal Society Interface. The final version is available online at

Anonymous reviewer: "...the methodology is excellent, and the study serves as an exemplar of the use of Bayesian methods to estimate parameters in a mechanistic mathematical model and is applicable to modelling in any field, not just dispersal."

Anonymous reviewer: "I think the paper will be interesting and useful to a broad audience of scientists across an array of fields and fits perfectly with the aims and scope of Journal of Royal Society Interface."

Strickland, Miller, Santhanakrishnan, Hamlet, Battista, Pasour (2017)

    Three-dimensional low Reynolds number flows near biological filtering and protective layersFluids, 2(62).

Strickland, Pearson, Shipman (2017)

    Formation of square lattices in coupled pattern-forming systemsBIOMATH, 5(2), 1612181.

Battista, Strickland, Miller (2017)

    IB2d: An easy to use immersed boundary method in 2D, with multiple options for fiber-structure models with possible porosity, advection-diffusion, and/or artificial forcingBioinspiration & Biomimetics, 12(3).

Strickland, Liedloff, Cook, Dangelmayr, Shipman (2016)

    The role of fire and water in driving tree dynamics in Australian savannasJournal of Ecology, 104(3), 828-840.

Strickland, Dangelmayr, Shipman, Kumar, Stohlgren (2015)

    Network spread of invasive species and infectious diseasesEcological Modelling, 309-310, 1-9.

Strickland, Dangelmayr, Shipman (2014)

    Modeling the presence probability of invasive plant species with nonlocal dispersalJournal of Mathematical Biology 69(2), 297-294

Shipman, Faria, Strickland (2013)

    Towards a continuous population model for natural language vowel shiftJournal of Theoretical Biology, 332, 123, 135

Upcoming Publications

Pearcy, Queen, Jodoin, Strickland

    Agent-based dynamics of a SPAHR opioid model on social network structures. In preparation.

Bouka, Strickland

    Information delay as a driver of epidemic cycles via social avoidance behaviors: a mathematical model for bio-preparedness. In preparation.


Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting 2023

Planktos: an agent-based framework for small organisms in fluid and around structures at the meter scale

Society for Mathematical Biology Annual Meeting 2019: Montreal, Canada

Modeling Movement and Persistence of Small Organisms in Flow

SIAM Conference on Mathematics of Planet Earth 2018

Modelling the opioid epidemic


NIMBioS, Mathematical Biology Seminar 2017

Watch online! Modelling invasion at multiple scales

BIOMATH 2017: Kruger National Park, South Africa

Modelling the spread of parasitoid wasps from point release

Recent Presentations
Leigh (undegraduate math major) and Nick (graduate student in Laura Miller's lab) writing down a model for heroin and opioid addiction.
Research Links

Laura Miller, Ph.D. (Math Physiology Lab at U Arizona)

Nick Battista, Ph.D. (Mathematical biologist specializing in

    computational fluid dynamics. Maintains IB2d.)

Patrick Shipman, Ph.D. (Mathematical biologist specializing in pattern


NIMBioS (National Institute for Mathematical and Biological


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