Project Title: Investigating the performance of pheromone-baited trapping techniques using a management strategy evaluation model

Faculty Sponsor: Heather Dawson

Department: Biology



Project Description: Sea lampreys (Petromyzon marinus) are parasitic pests in the Great Lakes, and “the development of integrated models to evaluate sea lamprey control strategies remains a high priority for research for the Great Lakes Fishery Commission.” We have incorporated valuable data into the MSE model on the cost and efficacy of using pheromones to enhance trap capture. We propose to determine the conditions necessary for a cost-effective pheromone-enhanced sea lamprey trapping strategy in the Great Lakes. To achieve this, requires first using best estimates of cost and efficacy of the strategy being evaluated and then varying the cost downward and the efficacy upward until the strategy became a viable complement or alternative to conventional control strategies. This will require thousands of model simulations, but the end result will be specific performance criteria (target costs and efficiencies) necessary to justify the deployment of pheromone-based strategies, given current or trending lamprey abundance.

Student Tasks & Responsibilities:  

  1. Conduct simulations using VB.Net and Microsoft Access on the student's personal computer.
  2. Organize results in Microsoft Excel.
  3. Use appropriate graphs and/or tables to illustrate the results.
  4. Provide the results to the faculty advisor.

Minimum Student Qualifications:

  1. Experience with Microsoft Access
  2. Experience with VB.Net

Proposed Starting Date: 01/12/2014

Proposed Ending Date: 04/30/2014