Plant development can be considered far beyond the original context of timing and elementary topology of organ development. We may explore its process origins in biochemistry; its mutual coupling to the environment as in energy balance and organ microclimate; the geometry of resources (rectilinear radiation, patchy and diffusive nutrients) that in turn conditions the necessary geometry of plant organs; the selection pressures that drive the evolution of diverse patterns of geometry and timing, and the population-genetic and phylogenetic constraints on such evolution; the ecological interactions with conspecifics as both competitors and mates, other resource competitors, herbivores, pollinators, diseases, and other biota that condition timing and geometry and the responsiveness of both. Exploration of these topics offers opportunities for biologists and mathematicians to meet in modes of modelling from first principles, inverse modelling, empirical modelling and data analysis, and to inform not only each other's major disciplines but also to link subfields within each discipline. Forward models may originate as functional models from basic levels of biochemistry and biophysics. One may also formulate models that begin with selection pressures to estimate how plants "should" function - simple optimization models, which must be generalized to address constraints that are variously functional, population-genetic, or phylogenetic.
The workshop has a goal of addressing these topics as items of intrinsic interest. Furthermore, it has a goal of involving young researchers to continue the development of mathematical biology and to take it in new directions. Finally, the workshop should engage us in defining the major challenges that remain. As an example of this last item, we may consider the problem of non-extinction: What is the geometry of the high-dimensional niche space that allows individual species to persist despite great numbers of extreme events in abiotic and biotic conditions, and how does this particularly relate to their biology, both physiological and developmental?