6 out of 200: Manalebish Debalike Asfaw is improving ecological sustainability
Meet Manalebish Debalike Asfaw in this Q&A series with 6 out of 200 computer scientists and mathematicians participating at the 4th Heidelberg Laureate Forum, September 18-23, 2016. 22 Laureates (Abel Prize, Fields Medal, Nevanlinna Prize, Turing Award) will attend the forum together with them. For a full week, Heidelberg in Germany will be the hot spot of mathematics and computer science.
What is your name and where are you from? My name is Manalebish Debalike Asfaw and I am Ethiopian
Where did you study and where are you currently based? I studied my undergraduate at Jimma University, Ethiopia and my master’s Degree at AIMS-Senegal (African institute for mathematical Sciences). I am currently based at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.
What is your current position? I am a PhD student at the Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.
What is the focus of your research? My research is in mathematical modeling of ecological systems. My interests are in understanding the interaction between plants and herbivores and how they react to weather changes such as rainfall and different temperatures, and how the altitude influences their interactions. I am studying non-linear ODEs (ordinary differential equations) and PDEs (partial differential equations) in a stochastic and deterministic model of dynamics, computing the solutions. I am using the models to quantify the impact and risk of over grazing and the impact of us humans on the environment, for example considering climate change and land use. Modeling ecological systems inspires interesting mathematical questions and challenges. At the same time, it helps improving the sustainable management of livestock.
Why did you become a mathematician? Mathematics gives rules to follow and uses logic. I enjoy the abstractness of the subject and the challenge it brings. There was also the positive influence from my teachers on me to love mathematics.
What do you see yourself doing in 10 years? Conducting research and contributing to the development of the area and the world.
What are you doing besides research? I am a lecturer at the Addis Ababa University and give courses to undergraduate students.
Why did you apply for the HLF? To meet and get experience from profound mathematicians all over the world.
What do you expect from this meeting? I expect to meet different mathematicians and learn from their experience. I also want to exchange contacts with different researchers in my area and plan a collaboration to work together in the future.
Which laureates present at the forum would you really like to talk to? Leslie Lamport