9th Annual Guelph Biomathematics and Biostatistics Symposium

Posted on Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Please join us on May 2, 2014 for the 9th Annual Guelph Biomathematics and Biostatistics Symposium:
Topic: The Mathematics and Statistics of Food Safety
Location: Arboretum Centre Auditorium, Arboretum, University of Guelph
Julie Horrocks, University of Guelph (Co-Chair, Statistics)Allan Willms, University of Guelph(Co-Chair, Mathematics)
        Fees: $40, Students $25 Includes lunch and coffee breaks

For more information and to register, go to

The 9th annual Guelph Biomathematics and Biostatistics Symposium will be held on May 2, 2014 in the Arboretum Auditorium, set in the heart of the Arboretum at the University of Guelph. The principal objective of the symposium is to facilitate collaborations between mathematicians, statisticians and bioscience researchers. This year's theme is on the mathematics and statistics of food safety. The symposium consists of two keynote lectures (including the Gordon C. Ashton Memorial Biometrics Lecture), and several invited talks. There will also be a poster session for graduate and undergraduate students, with a prize awarded for the best poster. This year's symposium is intended to provide exposure to various mathematical and statistical techniques used in the field of food safety.

Food safety is an area of enormous concern, both in the developed and the developing world. According to the World Health Organization, there are over 75 million cases of foodborne illness per year in the U.S. alone, and 5000 deaths. In Canada, every year more than 4 million Canadians get food poisoning. Foodborne illness is usually the result of eating food that has been contaminated by pathogens such as bacteria, viruses or parasites.Characteristics of foodstuffs, such as acidity, moisture content and cooking temperature can be controlled to regulate the growth of pathogens. The manner in which food is grown,
processed, packaged and stored can likewise be regulated. The fields of mathematics and statistics play an essential role in the regulation of food safety. Statistics comes into play in risk assessments, the estimation of the burden of foodborne illness and surveillance for outbreaks of food poisoning. Mathematics is used to model the biology of contamination and the growth of bacteria. The focus of the proposed symposium will be on the role of mathematics and statistics in food safety. The symposium will provide an opportunity for
food safety scientists and regulators to interface with mathematicians and statisticians, to share different approaches to the problems of food safety and to identify open problems.  The maximum size for the posters will be 46 inches high and 56 inches across.


Session 1: Gordon C. Ashton Memorial Lecture (First keynote speaker)
9:00-10:00 Aamir Fazil, Chief, Risk Integration Synthesis & Knowledge Section,
Public Health Risk Sciences Division, Public Health Agency of Canada.
Systems modelling for food safety decision making

10:00-10:30 Coffee and Pastries/Student Poster Session

Session 2: Invited Speakers
10:30 - 11:00 Kate Thomas, Epidemiologist, Public Health Agency of Canada, Guelph Estimating Number of Cases of Foodborne Illness in Canada

11:00 - 11:30 Keith Warriner, Professor, Department of Food Science, University of Guelph

11:30 - 1:00  Lunch Break/Student Poster Session

Session 3: Second keynote speaker
1:00 - 2:00 Jianhong Wu, CRC Chair in Industrial and Applied Mathematics, York University.  Templates of mathematical models describing cross-contamination mechanisms and control in fresh-food processing

2:00 - 2:15 Refreshments/Student Poster Session

Session 4: Invited Speakers
2:15 - 2:45 Amy Greer, CRC Chair Population Disease Modelling, University of Guelph.
Contributions of dynamic modeling to food safety research

2:45 - 3:15 Mike Williams, Senior Risk Analyst, Office of Public Health Science,
Food Safety and Inspection Service, Fort Collins, CO.
Simplified modeling framework for microbial food-safety risk assessments

3:15 - 3:30 Student Awards

Funding provided by THE FIELDS INSTITUTE FOR RESEARCH IN MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES and the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Guelph.

 See Poster attached.

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