Simulating mountain pine beetle eastward spread

The continued eastward spread of mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopk.; MPB) now threatens the boreal forests of eastern Alberta, Saskatchewan, and beyond. Predicting the outbreak and spread dynamics of this insect in jack pine, and to evaluate control measures to mitigate a potentially devastating loss of forest habitat and timber supply requires not only a complex understanding of the various inputs to this system and their interactions (e.g., MPB population dynamics, climate impacts, landscape features) but also the technical capacity to run large-scale spatial simulation models, and to update them quickly as new data are acquired and new models are developed. …

PhD thesis: Individual host selection decisions and population-level responses in a time- and energy-limited forager, Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins

My doctoral work involved the development of analytical and simulation models of mountain pine beetle (MPB) habitat selection and dispersal behaviour, and the resulting population distributions and dynamics. Specifically, I considered the role of energy- and time-limited host search in MPB, and I developed individual-based state-dependent dynamic game models of beetle host selection.