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Monday 7th September 2020 to Friday 11th September 2020

Isaac Newton Institute

United Kingdom


In July 2019 the Isaac Newton Institute (INI) Programme Mathematical and statistical challenges in landscape decision-making brought together environmental and mathematical scientists to discuss the issues facing landscape decision-makers and how mathematical and statistical approaches could help. The programme identified key research priorities within four areas: Decision-making under uncertainty, Spatial/temporal scaling, Coupling models to represent interactions within landscape systems and Representing processes in landscape models. It also led to a number of research proposals funded under the UKRI Strategic Priority Fund (SPF) “Landscape Decisions: Toward a new framework for using land assets” mathematical and statistical challenges call.

The aim of this follow-on workshop was to build on this work by exploring how to integrate state-of-the-art social modelling approaches with environmental and mathematical approaches in landscape decision-making. This is vital, as landscapes are complex systems, involving interactions between both natural and human processes. The workshop also provided an opportunity to feedback on methodological advances made since the INI programme and match these to the changing needs of stakeholders. 

Given the current restrictions on movement, due to the ongoing pandemic, the INI ran this workshop semi-virtually across 5 days. All talks and discussion sessions were available virtually. This included talks from both academics and stakeholders as well as breakout discussion sessions to identify research gaps and priorities. While the initial INI programme focused on bringing together the environmental and mathematical sciences research communities, the primary goal of this follow-on workshop was to further extend these interdisciplinary links to the social sciences community. This is crucial in order to advance a holistic understanding of landscape decision-making.
This workshop included:

•    Talks on the state-of-the-art in quantitative social and environmental and mathematical approaches to modelling landscape systems.
•    Discussions on how to integrate quantitative social modelling approaches into existing quantitative approaches in landscape decision-making
•    Summary of key outcomes and research roadmaps that emerged from the INI programme “Mathematical and statistical challenges in landscape decision-making”.
•    Stakeholder perspective on current challenges in landscape decision-making.
•    Feedback from projects funded under the UKRI Strategic Priority Fund (SPF) “Landscape Decisions: Toward a new framework for using land assets” mathematical and statistical challenges call.

Participants in the workshop included a highly interdisciplinary mix of both academic and non-academic researchers as well as stakeholders working on land-related research and policy questions. These included (but not be limited to) participants interested in ecological modelling, social modelling, as well as mathematicians, statisticians and computer and data scientists with expertise in system modelling, uncertainty quantification and decision-making who are also interested in these wide ranging applied questions.


In collaboration with