Population Dynamics

An incipient exotic population is typically comprised of only a few individuals, and thus it must overcome a suite of ecological issues associated with small population size.

At its core, invasion ecology is the study of the population dynamics of exotic species. An incipient exotic population is typically comprised of only a few individuals, and thus it must overcome a suite of ecological issues associated with small population size. Once this population is well established, subsequent population growth patterns determine in large part its impact on native species and ecosystems and how managers should approach eradicating or controlling those populations that become harmful. Our lab approaches these questions using simulation and statistical models, and population genetics. We have documented the role of propagule pressure in establishment success, lag times and collapses in exotic bird populations, and dispersal dynamics of exotic birds post establishment. Most of our field research on this topic is conducted on the exotic passerine birds of Hawaii.