As part of the EVA 4.0 project an international team of insect population ecologists is assembling at CZU to work on the use of mathematical models for identifying and managing newly invaded insect populations. The team consists of Dr. Takehiko Yamanaka (National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences, Tsukuba, Japan), Yutaka Osada (Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan) and Andrew Liebhold, team leader EVA subproject 4, “Reconstructing global insect invasion dynamics”
The team is using a quantitative research tool called “state space modeling” to reconstruct unobserved invading insect populations from observed captures of males in pheromone traps. Their model assumes that there is a reproducing population that is not directly observed but produce adult males that disperse and are captured in grids of pheromone traps used for pest surveillance. Predictions from the model can be used in biosecurity programs to identify invasion risk and target eradication treatments. The team is using historical data from surveillance trapping for the gypsy moth, in North America to calibrate the model but it is anticipated that the general framework can be applied to many other invasion systems in the future.