Optimal predator communities

An important question at the intersection of ecosystem management and biological conservation is whether biodiversity improves ecosystem services. One such service is biological control by natural predators, and we investigate how diversity in predator traits (body size, foraging area) can affect insect pest control.

The key contribution of this work is in pinpointing interactions which impair pest control in diverse communities and illustrating how the interplay between different predator traits can improve pest control. Below are some important components of the research.

  • Trait-based ODE model for insect predation
  • Temperature effects on insect metabolism
  • Formulation and optimization of performance metric

Future work on this project includes modelling the effect of temperature change on insect activity and a formal investigation into pest control.

Collaborators


Publication List


Virtual Office (drop ins welcome) - Schedule a Meeting (no need to ask) - amanda.laubmeier@ttu.edu - Math 117B (by appt. only)