Garry Peterson's Current Research

I am currently working on several different projects that explore theoretical and applied aspects of animal behaviour, ecology and the management of large ecosystems. 
Forest Fire Dissertation: My dissertation research is the study of the interactions between "Fire, Insect Outbreaks and Climate Change in Boreal Forest". Fire and insect outbreaks are spatially contagious meso-scale disturbances, and to capture their interactions with boreal forest landscapes I have developed a set of simple models that I will test against empirical data. I will use these models to examine the resilience of boreal forest to alterations in its fire and insect outbreaks dynamics. I will examine the impact of climatic change on both insect outbreaks and fire. I will also examine the consequences of changes in the diversity of insect predator populations on insect outbreaks. My work will test theories of ecological resilience against empirical data, and develop criteria to qualitatively predict the consequences of climate change for different regions of boreal forest. I have received a NASA Earth System Science Fellowship to conduct this research. 
Zooid Flock Flocking: I am working with Dr. Larry Dill, and Dr. Buzz Holling using modelling to test how animals may use simple visual rules to form aggregations. An early version of this work was published in SFI's 1992 Lectures in Complex Systems
Longleaf Pine Nature Conservancy: Working with the Nature Conservancy, I am developing a forest landscape model of Eglin Air Force Base. This model will be used to synthesize our current ecological understanding of forest and landscape change, in order highlight the uncertainties than underlie land management.  Several movies of vegetation change under three model scenarios are viewable on the WWW. 
Road in Suriname Suriname: Marieke Heemskerk, a PhD student in anthropology, and I are planning to conduct a project exploring the cross-scale ecological and social forces driving land-use/land-cover change in Suriname
Resilience Network Resilience Network: I am a participant in the Resilience Network of the Beijer International Institute of Ecological Economics. This effort aims to identify conditions and designs of ecosystems, institutions, and economic incentives that maintain or restore resilience to ecological economic systems. A initial scoping workshop took place on Ulvön Island, Sweden in June, 1995, and a proposal was developed at a workshop on Little St. Simons Island, USA and at the University of Florida in April, 1996. 

Return to the Garry Peterson's home page.

 Return to the Arthur R. Marshall Lab.


send any comments to

 Copyright © Garry Peterson, Last modified: July 11, 1996