Atmospheric Mentor: Brian Lamb, Washington State University
Biosphere Mentor: Steve Seybold, USDA Forest Service
Biosphere/Atmosphere Interactions: Pheromone Fate and Insect Response in Forest Canopies
In this proposal, a research program is outlined to improve our understanding of pheromone dispersion and insect response in forest canopies. This work is an extension of a collaborative U.S. Forest Service/Washington State University program aimed at developing tools to guide the effective use of artificial pheromone sources and pest management for bark beetles and gypsy moths in the U.S. In 1999, 2000, and 2001, atmospheric tracer field studies were conducted in Virginia, Montana, and Oregon to obtain data for the development of canopy dispersion models. Through the BART program we propose to extend this research; first by employing all available data from these field studies to develop a robust pheromone plume dispersion/insect behavior model, second to obtain additional forest canopy dispersion data at the University of Michigan Biological Station (UMBS), and third to investigate insect response to synthetic pheromone plumes. The end result is aimed at developing modeling tools that can be used by timber and agricultural land managers to aid in the design of pest control strategies.
Tara is currently conducting research as an Atmospheric Engineer Post Doc at the USDA Forest Service. She is examining the influence of the atmosphere on the fate and transport and dispersion of insect pheromone in forested ecosystems as well as the transport and dispersion of smoke from both wild and prescribed forest fires. She is also working to improve modeling capabilities to stimulate smoke transport and dispersion.
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