University of New Hampshire
Mathematics & Economics
Mentor: Dr. Kelly Black, Department of Mathematics
Wave Front Analysis of Bark Beetle Epidemic
The primary purpose of this research is to examine the Red Top model for estimating the rate of tree loss due to infestations of the mountain pine beetle. The mountain pine beetle is a major agricultural pest that attacks and kills pine trees by tunneling under the bark, laying eggs, and transferring blue-stain fungi which blocks food and resin movement through the trees. When outbreaks are extensive, millions of pine trees may be killed in a season. The Red Top model, an adaptation of the disease model, has been developed to track the tree population in an infected area. This model will be examined through the following investigations: (1) stability analysis of meta-population dynamics; (2) wave front analysis of the spread of the infected trees.