NSF Grant Funds ESF Ecologist’s Gypsy Moth Research
Dr. Dylan Parry investigates spread of invasive species
Posted August 2017
A scientist from the College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) is among the researchers whose work is supported by $12.1 million in funding announced today (Aug. 10, 2017) by the National Science Foundation.
Dr. Dylan Parry, an ecologist who is an associate professor in the ESF Department of Environmental and Forest Biology, will work with research partners from two universities in Virginia to learn more about how the troublesome gypsy moth - an invasive species that causes widespread damage to trees by defoliating them - has been able to spread through a range of habitats that have wide-ranging climate differences.
"The gypsy moth is arguably the most well-documented invasive species on Earth," Parry said. "Since its initial introduction in Massachusetts nearly 150 years ago, the gypsy moth has expanded its range to encompass an area from northern Minnesota to North Carolina."
Parry said the $300,000 project will investigate how critical tolerances to warm and cold temperatures have allowed the species to successfully colonize such a climatically diverse range of habitats.
"Importantly, we will investigate the climatic and physiological constraints that will govern the future spread of this important invader," he said.
The project is a collaboration among Parry; Kristine Grayson of the University of Richmond, who is a physiological ecologist; and Salvatore Agosta of Virginia Commonwealth University, who is an insect physiologist.
Parry's role is to collect gypsy moth populations from select climatic regions across the 1,800-km "invasion front" and rear the insects under homogeneous conditions to assess how ecologically important life history traits are geographically structured. These studies will be coupled with sensitive laboratory physiological measurements across biologically relevant temperatures, to be conducted by Agosta, and controlled experiments using simulated climatic conditions programmed into environmental chambers, which will be done by Grayson.
The title of the project is "Linking thermal tolerance to invasion dynamics: Climate and physiological capacity as regulators of geographical spread." The funding is part of the NSF's Early Career Track awards program, which supports research faculty in the early years of their professional life.
The funding to Parry and his colleagues is one of 10 such awards announced. The funding came through NSF's MacroSystems Biology and Early NEON (National Ecological Observatory Network) Science program. The awards will support research to help better detect, understand and predict the effects of phenology, climate and land-use changes on living systems, and the feedbacks to the environment that cross local and continental scales.
"The scientific community has seen a recent boon of new tools, from remote ecological sensor networks to citizen scientist-generated data, that allows us to study biology at scales that were never possible before," said James Olds, head of the NSF Biological Sciences Directorate, which oversees the MacroSystems Biology and Early NEON Science program. "These projects take advantage of those new tools, asking questions about how measurements made at one scale can be applied to others. Macrosystems science studies every dimension of biology, from genes to the globe."
Living organisms interact with their local environment in many ways, changing it and being changed by it. Over larger areas, millions or even billions of organisms interacting with their individual environments have effects on a much larger scale that are not predictable by knowing what happens locally. The field of macrosystems biology emerged in recent years to study how widespread local interactions cause changes to organisms and to their environments at regional to continental scales and how changes that occur over very large areas influence the local interactions.
One significant kind of change involves the shifting of seasons across the planet. Locally, flowers are blooming sooner, leaves are changing colors later, migrating birds are showing up sooner and staying longer and new insects are appearing. Across the continent, new patterns alter local and regional weather, confuse the relationships between pollinators and plants, affect important populations of native and invasive insects and alter forest productivity.
ESF Faculty Recognized for Excellence and Achievement
- Community Stewards to Receive ESF’s Feinstone AwardGeorge W. Curry, William H. McAvoy committed to building a vibrant community
- CCLP Honored for Landscape Preservation Project in CaliforniaCultural Landscape Report earns Preservation Design Award
- American Fisheries Society Honors RinglerLongtime professor receives award for teaching
- Study in ‘Nature’ Details Global Land ChangeESF professor, co-authors state changes ‘reflect a human-dominated Earth system’
- Wagner Receives College Foundation Teaching AwardCited for dedication to students, professionalism
- Dr. Timothy Volk Named Exemplary Researcher at ESFWork in sustainable energy and energy systems recognized
- ESF Staff, Faculty Honored by SUNY ChancellorCommitment to students, professionalism recognized
- SUNY Board of Trustees Appoints Interim President of ESFDr. David C. Amberg brings expertise in research, science and administration to college
- AEC’s McNulty Named President of OBFSOrganization supports field stations, research
- ESF Welcomes Camp Fire Professor of Wildlife ConservationDr. Jerrold Belant joins faculty for fall semester
- ESF Lists Top 10 New Species for 2018New to science: plants, animals and microbes that have ‘found a way to survive against the odds’
- Researchers Find Whole Genome Duplication Has Occurred Many Times during Evolution of InsectsESF scientist joins team in publishing findings
- Nomura Group Recognized for Top ArticleTop 100 most-read microbiology papers in Scientific Reports for 2017
- ESF Team among Finalists for $2.5M Canals Competition NPYA celebrates finalists at ESF event
- ESF Professor's New Book Looks at What Makes Something 'Alive'Dr. Scott Turner argues humans must explore living nature as purposeful, driven by desire
- Trees Cope with Harsh Conditions, Surprising Researchers Study in Australia reveals ability to 'wait out the heat'
- ERE Professor Focuses Sabbatical on GIS TechnologyLindi Quackenbush to add Google Earth Engine to advanced remote-sensing course
- Dr. Jack Manno, Cindy Squillace Honored with Racial Justice AwardRetired faculty member earns award from Interfaith Works
- The Ocean Is Losing Its BreathESF scientist joins team in revealing dangers and solutions
- Synthetic Protein Could Be Key in Battle against DiseaseESF scientists contribute to new publication
- Dr. James Gibbs Named SUNY Distinguished ProfessorESF professor earns highest faculty rank
- ‘Extinct’ Floreana Tortoise Species Could Return to Galapagos ESF professor contributes to restoration program
- NSF Grant Funds ESF Ecologist’s Gypsy Moth ResearchDr. Dylan Parry investigates spread of invasive species
- Martin Hogue Receives Teaching AwardCited for dedication to students, professionalism
- Dr. John Farrell Named Exemplary Researcher at ESFDirector of Thousand Islands Biological Station recognized for aquatic research
- ESF Staff, Faculty Honored by Chancellor Commitment to students, professionalism recognized
- ESF Professor Co-authors Declaration to Support Indigenous ScienceStatement endorsed by over 1500 indigenous scientists and allies
- Farther from the Forest: ‘Eye-opening’ Study Shows Rural U.S. Loses Forests Faster than CitiesStudy overturns conventional wisdom about forest loss
- ESF Professor Awarded Research GrantInnovations in green building construction to be studied
- Former ESF President Whaley Honored by NY Bar AssociationState bar group bestows Environmental Law Section award
- ESF Chemistry Professor Appointed VP for ResearchChristopher Nomura aims to increase collaboration
- Dr. Stewart Diemont Receives Teaching AwardCited for creativity, contributions to profession
- ESF Professor Works to Build Community at COP21Dr. Jack Manno runs workshops at ‘Climate Generations’
- Malmsheimer Shares Sustainability Expertise with European PolicymakersFaculty member meets with leaders in Brussels, London
- Oneida Lake Subject of New BookProfessor Donald Stewart co-edits book on lake’s history, ecology
- Professor’s Book Ranks as ‘Outstanding Academic Title’Jack Manno, co-editors address the end of fossil fuels
- Professional Society Honors ESF Landscape ArchitectRichard Hawks named Distinguished Senior Practitioner, Academic Practice
- Dr. Georgios Mountrakis Honored as Exemplary ResearcherResearcher presents Adaptive Peaks Seminar
- Endreny Receives Fulbright Award as Distinguished Chair in ItalyERE chair to serve semester at Parthenope University in Naples
- ESF Faculty, Staff Honored by SUNY ChancellorCommitment to students, professionalism recognized
- ESF Forest Manager Honored by SAFBruce Breitmeyer named Fellow
- Dr. Robert MalmsheimerESF College Foundation Award for Exceptional Achievement in Teaching
- Dr. Kimberly SchulzExemplary Researcher
- Dr. Christopher NomuraExemplary Researcher
- Dr. Lindi QuackenbushESF College Foundation Award for Exceptional Achievement in Teaching winner
- Ken TissESF College Foundation Award for Exceptional Achievement in Teaching winner
- Greg BoyerExemplary Researcher, Chemistry
- George CurryKennedy Distinguished Faculty Chair in Landscape Architecture
- Dr. Robin KimmererDirector, ESF Center for Native Peoples
- Dr. James GibbsDistinguished teacher, honored researcher
- Dr. David KieberExemplary Researcher, Environmental Chemistry