, PhD is a theoretical ecologist working as a professor in the Departments of Entomology and Biology. His main interests are population ecology and population dynamics with particular emphasis on mathematical and computational aspects. He is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Statistics, and carries out research in statistical ecology and in methods for analyzing spatiotemporal data.
Ottar is involved in many collaborative studies on the outbreak and persistence of infectious disease.
His work has five interrelated themes:
- Ecological statistics: how can we test theories about spatiotemporal variation using abundance data?
- Population dynamics: how do the interactions between individuals and between individuals and the environment determine fluctuations in abundance? What are the effects of heterogeneity in the environment?
- Interactions between species: how do competition, predation and parasitism affect disease dynamics?
- Spatial dynamics: what causes regional synchrony or asynchrony in fluctuations?
- Ecology of infectious disease: how do host and pathogen characteristics affect incidence of disease?
He combines mathematical modelling with analysis of empirical data sets to generate and test hypotheses.