Modeling of Native and Invasive Species Interaction and Propagation
Our project seeks to understand the interactions between native and invasive species with respect to evolutionary pressures, changing climate parameters, and other relevant factors. The theoretical branch of this project seeks to build a model of the evolutionary dynamics that arise between a specialized native species and an introduced generalized invasive species. We are also using remote sensing and GIS techniques to collect hard data to study invasive species propigation using state-of-the-art image processing algorithms and evolutionary computation techniques. We seek to develop the capacity to identify areas under significant risk of future invasive species propigation.
We have developed a genetic algorithm-based modeling framework to study the evolutionary dynamics between invasive and native species. Current efforts during the Spring 2012 semester will focus on running evolutionary simulations in order to develop a model to describe these dynamics. On the remote sensing front, we have identified current data resources and future data collection needs to study invasive species propigation on the island of Lanai. We are currently developing algorithms to combine multispectral satellite imagery with ground-based LiDAR datasets.
These interegated satellite and LiDAR data sets will be combined with evolutionary algorithms and machine learning techniques to distinguish between invasive and native species.