Research Publication Title

The Beetle Bandit: The Utilization of Biosurveillance to Monitor the Spread of the Emerald Ash Borer

Major

Biology/Pre- med

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Nathan Lord

Keywords

beetles, entomology, biosurveillance, wasps, ash trees, co-evolution

Abstract

Invasive species pose serious threats to the health of our native ecosystems and industries. One such example is the emerald ash borer (EAB – Agrilus planipennis), a small beetle that is causing billions of dollars in damage to the North American ash tree business. Accidentally introduced from China in 2002, EAB has spread to over thirty states and has killed millions of ash trees. Despite concerted efforts by the USDA, however, the spread of EAB has not been contained, and detection of EAB has become paramount. The following research discusses how we are utilizing biosurveillance to better understand how to attempt to improve detection measures of EAB in middle Georgia. Cerceris fumipennis, a solitary wasp species native to North America, captures beetles for prey. Rather than trapping for EAB themselves, we are employing biosurveillance strategies to monitor for the spread of the destructive beetle. This program is termed “WaspWatchers Southeast,” and is modified from existing programs in the NE USA. The data collected will be used both to detect the presence of EAB more rapidly than traditional measures, but also to study the co-evolution of interspecies recognition strategies.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

The Beetle Bandit: The Utilization of Biosurveillance to Monitor the Spread of the Emerald Ash Borer

Invasive species pose serious threats to the health of our native ecosystems and industries. One such example is the emerald ash borer (EAB – Agrilus planipennis), a small beetle that is causing billions of dollars in damage to the North American ash tree business. Accidentally introduced from China in 2002, EAB has spread to over thirty states and has killed millions of ash trees. Despite concerted efforts by the USDA, however, the spread of EAB has not been contained, and detection of EAB has become paramount. The following research discusses how we are utilizing biosurveillance to better understand how to attempt to improve detection measures of EAB in middle Georgia. Cerceris fumipennis, a solitary wasp species native to North America, captures beetles for prey. Rather than trapping for EAB themselves, we are employing biosurveillance strategies to monitor for the spread of the destructive beetle. This program is termed “WaspWatchers Southeast,” and is modified from existing programs in the NE USA. The data collected will be used both to detect the presence of EAB more rapidly than traditional measures, but also to study the co-evolution of interspecies recognition strategies.