Awardee: Monica Dimson, PhD Student
Incipient invasive species present a challenge to species distribution modeling. Because the species is still emerging, presence data that trains the model is likely to be affected by temporal and spatial biases. However, early detection and containment objectives—which are crucial to efficacious invasive species management—become near possible to achieve as a species becomes more established. It is, therefore, necessary to examine the predictive ability of emerging invasive species distribution models in spite of the implicit biases. I model the distribution of the invasive shot-hole borer (Euwallacea sp. nr.fornicatus), a beetle that threatens native trees, urban forests, and agricultural crops in California, in order to assess the utility of these models in conservation and planning.