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Scientists & Staff

Andrew M. Liebhold

Ecology and Management of Invasive Species and Forest Ecosystems
Research Entomologist
US Forest Service Northern Research Station
Morgantown, WV 26505
Phone: 304-285-1512
Fax: 304-285-1505
Contact Andrew M. Liebhold


Current Research

Population biology of biological invasions

Much of my research focuses on understanding ecological processes operating during the arrival, establishment, and spread phases of biological invasions. In particular, I am interested in understanding these processes as the basis for more effective strategies to exclude invaders, prevent establishment (eradication) and contain the spread of invading forest pests. This work includes studies on the gypsy moth, Sirex woodwasp, beech bark disease, Japanese oak wilt disease, emerald ash borer and hemlock woolly adelgid.

Forest insect population dynamics

I am interested in understanding the processes that are responsible for the spatial and temporal patterns of forest insect outbreaks. Many insect species exhibit periodic population oscillations that occur synchronously over large areas but we have only a partial understanding of the population processes (interactions with predators, parasitoids, host plants and disease) that cause these patterns. Analyses of historical data and mathematical models are applied to explore these relationships. This work focuses on the gypsy moth, but includes several other forest insect species as well.

Why This Research is Important

North America is currently experiencing an onslaught of invasions by damaging forest pest species. We need to develop more effective strategies for mitigating this problem. Unfortunately, there are often few options for preventing or minimizing the impacts of these invasions but the development of a clearer understanding of the invasion process is critical for the development of more effective management strategies.

Forest insect outbreaks have a multitude of ecological and economic impacts but currently we have a very limited ability to either predict or prevent such outbreaks. Knowledge of the underlying processes that generate outbreaks is critical for improving our ability to forecast and manage outbreaks in the future.

Education

  • University of Massachusetts, Postdoctoral , 1988
  • University of California at Berkeley, Ph.D. Entomology, 1984
  • Allegheny College, B.S. Biology, 1978

Professional Organizations

  • IUFRO research group 7.03.00, Entomology, Leader
  • Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG). World Conservation Union (IUCN), Elected Member
  • Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, PA, Research Associate
  • Canadian Entomologist, Associate Editor
  • Population Ecology, Associate Editor
  • Journal of Forest Research

Awards & Recognition

  • Lifetime Achievement Award, National Gypsy Moth Management Board, 2011
    Lifetime Achievement Award, National Gypsy Moth Management Board
  • Sustaining Forests and Grasslands Award, Northern Research Station , 2011
    (co-recipient)
  • Scientific Achievement Award, International Union of Forestry Research Organizations, 2010
    IUFRO
  • Distinguished Science Award, Northeastern Research Station, 2006
    Distinguished Science Award, Northeastern Research Station
  • Forest Insect and Disease Resesarch Award, Forest Insect and Disease Research, USFS Headquarters, 1994
    Forest Insect and Disease Resesarch Award, Forest Insect and Disease Research, USFS Washington Office
  • Director's award for research excellence, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station, 1994
    Director's award for research excellence, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station

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Last updated on : 06/26/2014