The Department of Mathematical Sciences will host Dr. Benjamin Seibold of Temple University, for its math seminar series. Dr. Seibold will present, “Principled Mathematical Models for the Spotted Lanternfly Invasion.” The free seminar will take place on Friday, February 17, at 12 p.m. in BSB 132. A virtual option is also available:


The spotted lanternfly is an invasive species that is spreading in the Eastern United States. Introduced in 2014 to Eastern Pennsylvania, it has since spread within PA and to several adjacent states. Due to its ability to severely compromise lumber, grape, and crop production, it has been called “the worst invasive species to establish in the US in a century.” In this presentation, we showcase our team’s efforts to produce principled models for the lanternfly life cycle and its dependence on climatic conditions, with the goal to generate quantitatively accurate predictions of the pest’s establishment potential across the country. In addition to intriguing mathematical models and challenging cross-disciplinary efforts on properly calibrating the models, this research also induces an intriguing need for specialized moving mesh methods. We showcase how biological properties like diapause manifest in a characteristic rank-1 structure of the population evolution operator, and highlight predictions on the pest’s future establishment, including how humans facilitate its spread.