Date of Award

May 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Daniel Gervini

Committee Members

David Spade, Gabriella Pinter


least-squares, Lotka-Volterra, parameter estimation


The population of two types of bacteria found in the Gulf Coast of Florida, V.chagasii and V. harveyi, can be described by the Lotka-Voltera competition model. Using data gathered in experiments conducted by Bury and Pickett (2015), we take a different approach to find parameter estimates using numerical methods in R. In particular, we find a numerical solution to the coupled set of ODEs and minimize the sum of squared errors in order to obtain the optimal parameter estimates that will fit the data best. In order to get a sense of accuracy of these parameter estimates, we use bootstrap estimation to compute the component wise standard deviations and construct confidence intervals for the estimates.