Brian Leung

Associate Professor,
McGill University

Department of Biology
Institution page


1999-2001 Post-Doc Zoology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
1995-1999 PhD Biology, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON, Canada
1989-1993 B.Sc (Honours) Biology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada


  • Biological invasions
  • Ecology of diseases
  • Anthropogenic stressors
  • Addressing environmental issues through the synthesis of models (mathematical, computational, and statistical) with empirical data (literature, field or lab studies)
  • Creating models for ecological forecasting, given uncertainty and sparse data
  • Developing decision theory, using risk analysis

  • QCBS students

    Lidia Della Venezia

    (Start: 2012)
    Predicting non-indigenous aquarium fish.

    Dat Nguyen

    (Start: 2017)
    Evaluating predictive models of invasive species in changing environments

    Charlotte Steeves

    Other (co-)supervisor: Hector Guzman, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
    (Start: 2019, End: 2021)
    Examining exposure to persistent organic pollutants in developing Brown and Blue-Footed Booby chicks: A minimally-invasive field approach
    Link to thesis (pdf)

    Previous students (since 2009)

    Johanna Bradie

    (Start: 2010, End: 2015)
    Predicting the establishment success of non-indigenous species

    David Delaney

    (Start: 2005, End: 2009)
    Predicting and monitoring the spread of marine invasive species

    Ayaz Hyder

    (Start: 2007, End: 2012)
    Testing predictive models of influenza spread

    Kristina Enciso

    (Start: 2012, End: 2014)
    Linking biotic interactions into species distribution models in invasion ecology

    Erin Gertzen

    (Start: 2007, End: 2009)
    Predicting spread of aquatic invaders

    Alyssa Gervais

    (Start: 2013, End: 2015)
    Behavioural adaptation of rock crabs in Prince Edward Island

    Emma Hudgins

    (Start: 2015, End: 2018)
    Predictive Modelling of Invasive Pest Spread

    Stefanie Kulhanek

    (Start: 2007, End: 2010)
    Other QCBS (co-)supervisor: Tony Ricciardi
    Predicting impact of aquatic invaders

    Victoria Reed

    Other (co-)supervisor: Guzman, Hector
    (Start: 2014, End: 2017)
    Watershed management and modeling in a manatee habitat in Bocas del Toro Province, Panama

    Anthony Sardain

    (Start: 2014, End: 2017)
    Forecasting the global shipping network and its implications for species invasion

    Andrew Sellers

    (Start: 2012, End: 2014)
    Latitudinal gradients in the parasitism of invasive species

    Involvement within the QCBS

    Examples of species studied

    Ciona intestinalis
    Rhagoletis pomonella
    Rhithropanopeus harrisii
    Euphorbia esula
    Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus
    Agrilus planipennis
    Ischnura verticalis
    Enallagma ebrium
    Coenagrion resolutum
    Bythotrephes longimanus
    Pterois volitans
    Cyprinus carpio


    87- Behavioural lateralization in a detour test is not repeatable in fishes
    Roche D G , Amcoff M , Morgan R , Sundin J , Andreassen A H , Finnøen M H , Lawrence M J , Henderson E , Norin T , Speers-Roesch B , Brown C , Clark T D , Bshary R , Leung B , Jutfelt F , Binning S A ,
    2020 Animal Behaviour (Date Added: 2020-12-20)

    86- Clustered versus catastrophic global vertebrate declines
    Leung B , Hargreaves A L , Greenberg D A , McGill B , Dornelas M , Freeman R ,
    2020 Nature (Date Added: 2020-11-27)

    85- What Will the Future Bring for Biological Invasions on Islands? An Expert-Based Assessment
    Lenzner B , Latombe G , Capinha C , Bellard C , Courchamp F , Diagne C , Dullinger S , Golivets M , Irl S D H , Kühn I , Leung B , Liu C , Moser D , Roura-Pascual N , Seebens H , Turbelin A , Weigelt P , Essl F ,
    2020 Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution (Date Added: 2020-10-02)

    84- Drivers of future alien species impacts: An expert-based assessment
    Essl F , Lenzner B , Bacher S , Bailey S , Capinha C , Daehler C , Dullinger S , Genovesi P , Hui C , Hulme P E , Jeschke J M , Katsanevakis S , Kühn I , Leung B , Liebhold A , Liu C , MacIsaac H J , Meyerson L A , Nuñez M A , Pauchard A , Pyšek P , Rabitsch W , Richardson D M , Roy H E , Ruiz G M , Russell J C , Sanders N J , Sax D F , Scalera R , Seebens H , Springborn M , Turbelin A , Kleunen M , Holle B , Winter M , Zenni R D , Mattsson B J , Roura‐Pascual N ,
    2020 Global Change Biology (Date Added: 2020-07-21)

    83- Global meta-analysis of how marine upwelling affects herbivory
    Sellers A J , Leung B , Torchin M E ,
    2020 Global Ecology and Biogeography (Date Added: 2020-02-09)

    81- Comparing generalized and customized spread models for nonnative forest pests
    Hudgins E J , Liebhold A M , Leung B ,
    2019 Ecological Applications (Date Added: 2019-12-03)

    80- Introducing AlienScenarios: A project to develop scenarios and models of biological invasions for the 21st century
    Essl F , Lenzner B , Courchamp F , Dullinger S , Jeschke J M , Kühn I , Leung B , Moser D , Roura-Pascual N , Seebens H ,
    2019 NeoBiota (Date Added: 2019-07-02)

    79- When pets become pests: the role of the exotic pet trade in producing invasive vertebrate animals
    Lockwood J L , Welbourne D J , Romagosa C M , Cassey P , Mandrak N E , Strecker A , Leung B , Stringham O C , Udell B , Episcopio‐Sturgeon D J , Tlusty M F , Sinclair J , Springborn M R , Pienaar E F , Rhyne A L , Keller R ,
    2019 Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment (Date Added: 2019-06-20)

    78- Global forecasts of shipping traffic and biological invasions to 2050
    Sardain A , Sardain E , Leung B ,
    2019 Nature Sustainability (Date Added: 2019-04-20)

    77- A new baseline for countrywide α-diversity and species distributions: illustration using >6,000 plant species in Panama
    Leung B , Hudgins E J , Potapova A , Ruiz‐Jaen M C ,
    2019 Ecological Applications (Date Added: 2019-04-09)

    76- The rich get richer: Invasion risk across North America from the aquarium pathway under climate change
    Della Venezia L , Samson J , Leung B ,
    2018 Diversity and Distributions (Date Added: 2018-02-28)

    75- Trends in mean growth and stability in temperate vertebrate populations
    Leung B , Greenberg D A , Green D M ,
    2017 Diversity and Distributions (Date Added: 2017-12-18)

    73- Predicting the spread of all invasive forest pests in the United States
    Hudgins E J , Liebhold A M , Leung B ,
    2017 Ecology Letters (Date Added: 2017-02-21)

    71- A quantitative synthesis of the importance of variables used in MaxEnt species distribution models
    Bradie J , Leung B ,
    2016 Journal of Biogeography (Date Added: 2017-02-09)

    70- Possible ballast water transfer of lionfish to the eastern pacific ocean
    MacIsaac H J , De Roy E M , Leung B , Grgicak-Mannion A , Ruiz G M ,
    2016 PLoS ONE (Date Added: 2017-02-09)

    69- Nonnative forest insects and pathogens in the United States: Impacts and policy options
    Lovett, GM, Weiss, M, Liebhold, AM, Holmes, TP, Leung, B, Lambert, KF, Orwig, DA, Campbell, FT, Rosenthal, J, McCullough, DG, Wildova, R, Ayres, MP, Canham, CD, Foster, DR, LaDeau, SL, Weldy, T, Pan, Y
    2016 Ecological Applications (Date Added: 2016-05-27)

    66- Regional Variation in Parasite Species Richness and Abundance in the Introduced Range of the Invasive Lionfish, Pterois volitans
    Sellers, AJ, Ruiz, GM, Leung, B, Torchin, ME
    2015 PloS one (Date Added: 2015-08-25)

    64-Economic analysis of biological invasions in forests
    Holmes, TP
    2014 Handbook of forest resource economics ( Date Added: 2016-06-23)

    63-he interacting effects of diversity and propagule pressure on early colonisation and population size
    Hedge, L
    2014 Journal of Animal Ecology ( Date Added: 2016-06-22)

    62- Validation and calibration of probabilistic predictions in ecology
    Chivers, C
    2014 Methods in Ecology and Evolution (Date Added: 2016-06-22)

    61- Pathway-level risk analysis: the net present value of an invasive species policy in the US
    Leung, B, Springborn, MR, Turner, JA, Brockerhoff, EG
    2014 Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment (Date Added: 2014-07-17)

    60- The interacting effects of diversity and propagule pressure on early colonisation and population size
    Hedge, L
    2013 Journal of Animal Ecology (Date Added: 2016-06-22)

    59- Intrinsic time-dependence in the diversity-invasibility relationship
    Clark, GF
    2013 Ecology (Date Added: 2016-06-22)

    58- Importing risk: quantifying the propagule pressure-establishment relationship at the pathway level
    Bradie, J
    2013 Diversity and Distributions (Date Added: 2016-06-22)

    57- Predictive validation of an influenza spread model
    Hyder, A
    2013 PLoS One (Date Added: 2016-06-22)

    56- Modeling the relationship between propagule pressure and invasion risk to inform policy and management
    Wonham, MJ, Byers, JE, Grosholz, ED, Leung, B
    2013 Ecological Applications (Date Added: 2013-11-11)

    55- Addressing a critique of the TEASI framework for invasive species risk assessment
    Leung, B, Roura-Pascual, N, Bacher, S, Heikkilä, J, Brotons, L, Burgman, MA, Dehnen-Schmutz, K, Essl, F, Hulme, PE, Richardson, DM, Sol, D, Vilà, M
    2013 Ecology Letters (Date Added: 2013-11-04)

    53- The value of a datum - how little data do we need for a quantitative risk analysis?
    Leung, B, Steele, RJ
    2013 Diversity and Distributions (Date Added: 2013-05-21)

    51- TEASIng apart alien species risk assessments: a framework for best practices
    Leung, B, Roura-Pascual, N, Bacher, S, Heikkilä, J, Brotons, L, Burgman, MA, Dehnen-Schmutz, K, Essl, F, Hulme, PE, Richardson, DM, Sol, D, Vilà, M
    2012 Ecology Letters (Date Added: 2012-10-22)

    50- Predicting regional spread of non-native species using oceanographic models: validation and identification of gaps
    Delaney, D, Edwards, P, Leung, B
    2012 Marine Biology (Date Added: 2012-09-17)

    49- Economic Impacts of Non-Native Forest Insects in the Continental United States
    Aukema, JE, Leung, B, Kovacs, K, Chivers, C, Britton, KO, Englin, J, Frankel, SJ, Haight, RG, Holmes, TP, Liebhold, AM, McCullough, DG, Von Holle, B
    2011 PLoS ONE (Date Added: 2012-09-17)

    48- Evaluating Efficacy of an Environmental Policy to Prevent Biological Invasions
    Bailey, SA, Deneau, MG, Jean, L, Wiley, CJ, Leung, B, MacIsaac, HJ
    2011 Environmental Science & Technology (Date Added: 2012-09-17)

    45- Does consumer injury modify invasion impact?
    Delaney, D, Griffen, B, Leung, B
    2011 Biological Invasions (Date Added: 2012-09-17)

    42- Hull fouling as an invasion vector: can simple models explain a complex problem?
    Sylvester, F, Kalaci, O, Leung, B, Lacoursière-Roussel, A, Murray, CC, Choi, FM, Bravo, MA, Therriault, TW, MacIsaac, HJ
    2011 Journal of Applied Ecology (Date Added: 2011-08-08)

    40- Is invasion history a useful tool for predicting the impacts of the world's worst aquatic invasive species?
    Kulhanek, SA, Ricciardi, A, Leung, B
    2011 Ecological Applications (Date Added: 2011-05-24)

    39- Using ecological niche models to predict the abundance and impact of invasive species: application to the common carp
    Kulhanek, SA, Leung, B, Ricciardi, A
    2011 Ecological Applications (Date Added: 2011-05-24)

    38- The diapause response of Rhagoletis pomonella to varying environmental conditions and its significance for geographic and host plant-related adaptation
    Feder, JL, Powell, TH, Filchak, K, Leung, B
    2010 Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata (Date Added: 2011-04-07)

    37- Higher parasite richness, abundance and impact in native versus introduced cichlid fishes
    Roche, DG, Leung, B, Mendoza Franco, EF, Torchin, ME
    2010 International Journal for Parasitology (Date Added: 2011-04-07)

    36- An empirical probability model of detecting species at low densities
    Delaney, DG, Leung, B
    2010 Ecological Applications (Date Added: 2011-04-07)

    35- Re-evaluating eradication of nuisance species: Invasion of the tunicate, Ciona intestinalis
    Edwards, PK, Leung, B
    2009 Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment (Date Added: 2011-04-07)

    34- Localized invasion of the North American Harris mud crab, Rhithropanopeus harrisii, in the Panama Canal: Implications for eradication and spread
    Roche, DG, Torchin, ME, Leung, B, Binning, SA
    2009 Biological Invasions (Date Added: 2011-04-07)

    33- The authors respond
    Cohen, J, Mirotchnick, N, Leung, B
    2008 Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment (Date Added: 2011-04-07)

    32- Quantifying invasion pathways: Fish introductions from the aquarium trade
    Gertzen, E, Familiar, O, Leung, B
    2008 Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (Date Added: 2011-04-07)

    31- Marine invasive species: Validation of citizen science and implications for national monitoring networks
    Delaney, DG, Sperling, CD, Adams, CS, Leung, B
    2008 Biological Invasions (Date Added: 2011-04-07)

    29- Predicting the population dynamics of the house dust mite Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Acari: Pyroglyphidae) in response to a constant hygrothermal environment using a model of the mite life cycle
    Biddulph, P, Crowther, D, Leung, B, Wilkinson, T, Hart, B, Oreszczyn, T, Pretlove, S, Ridley, I, Ucci, M
    2007 Experimental and Applied Acarology (Date Added: 2011-04-07)

    28- Freshwater invasions: Using historical data to analyse spread
    Loo, SE, Keller, RP, Leung, B
    2007 Diversity and Distributions (Date Added: 2011-04-07)

    27- ABAM, a model for bioaccumulation of POPs in birds: Validation for adult herring gulls and their eggs in Lake Ontario
    Norstrom, RJ, Clark, TP, Enright, M, Leung, B, Drouillard, KG, Macdonald, CR
    2007 Environmental Science and Technology (Date Added: 2011-04-07)

    26- The risk of establishment of aquatic invasive species: Joining invasibility and propagule pressure
    Leung, B, Mandrak, NE
    2007 Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Date Added: 2011-04-07)

    25- Thousands introduced annually: The aquarium pathway for non-indigenous plants to the St Lawrence Seaway
    Cohen, J, Mirotchnick, N, Leung, B
    2007 Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment (Date Added: 2011-04-07)

    24- Take a risk: Preferring prevention over control of biological invaders
    Finnoff, D, Shogren, JF, Leung, B, Lodge, D
    2007 Ecological Economics (Date Added: 2011-04-07)

    23- Boats, pathways, and aquatic biological invasions: Estimating dispersal potential with gravity models
    Leung, B, Bossenbroek, JM, Lodge, DM
    2006 Biological Invasions (Date Added: 2011-04-07)

    22- Modelling local and long-distance dispersal of invasive emerald ash borer Agrilus planipennis (Coleoptera) in North America
    Muirhead, JR, Leung, B, Van Overdijk, C, Kelly, DW, Nandakumar, K, Marchant, KR, MacIsaac, HJ
    2006 Diversity and Distributions (Date Added: 2011-04-07)

    21- Managing sparse data in biological invasions: a simulation study
    Leung, B, Delaney, DG
    2006 Ecological Modelling (Date Added: 2011-04-07)

    20- Biological invasions: Recommendations for U.S. policy and management
    Lodge, DM, Williams, S, MacIsaac, HJ, Hayes, KR, Leung, B, Reichard, S, Mack, RN, Moyle, PB, Smith, M, Andow, DA, Carlton, JT, McMichael, A
    2006 Ecological Applications (Date Added: 2011-04-07)

    19- Mayr, Dobzhansky, and Bush and the complexities of sympatric speciation in Rhagoletis
    Feder, JL, Xie, X, Rull, J, Velez, S, Forbes, A, Leung, B, Dambroski, H, Filchak, KE, Aluja, M
    2005 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (Date Added: 2011-04-07)

    18- The importance of bioeconomic feedback in invasive species management
    Finnoff, D, Shogren, JF, Leung, B, Lodge, D
    2005 Ecological Economics (Date Added: 2011-04-07)

    17- Risk and nonindigenous species management
    Finnoff, D, Shogren, JF, Leung, B, Lodge, D
    2005 Review of Agricultural Economics (Date Added: 2011-04-07)

    16- Managing invasive species: Rules of thumb for rapid assessment
    Leung, B, Finnoff, D, Shogren, JF, Lodge, D
    2005 Ecological Economics (Date Added: 2011-04-07)

    15- Predicting invasions: Propagule pressure and the gravity of allee effects
    Leung, B, Drake, JM, Lodge, DM
    2004 Ecology (Date Added: 2011-04-07)

    14- Diet of nymphs affects normal wing development in Ischnura verticalis (Odonata: Coenagrionidae)
    Baker, RL, Leung, B, Forbes, MR
    2004 Canadian Entomologist (Date Added: 2011-04-07)

    13- Developing conceptual frameworks for the recovery of aquatic biota from acidification
    Yan, ND, Leung, B, Keller, W, Arnott, SE, Gunn, JM, Raddum, GG
    2003 Ambio (Date Added: 2011-04-07)

    12- A spatial stochastic model simulating a scabies epidemic and coyote population dynamics
    Leung, B, Grenfell, BT
    2003 Ecological Modelling (Date Added: 2011-04-07)

    11- An ounce of prevention or a pound of cure: Bioeconomic risk analysis of invasive species
    Leung, B, Lodge, DM, Finnoff, D, Shogren, JF, Lewis, MA, Lamberti, G
    2002 Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Date Added: 2011-04-07)

    10- Nutritional stress and behavioural immunity of damselflies
    Leung, B, Forbes, MR, Baker, RL
    2001 Animal Behaviour (Date Added: 2011-04-07)

    9- Fluctuating asymmetry as a bioindicator of stress: Comparing efficacy of analyses involving multiple traits
    Leung, B, Forbes, MR, Houle, D
    2000 American Naturalist (Date Added: 2011-04-07)

    8- Grooming decisions by damselflies, age-specific colonisation by water mites, and the probability of successful parasitism
    Leung, B, Baker, RL, Forbes, MR
    1999 International Journal for Parasitology (Date Added: 2011-04-07)

    7- Lake pH and aluminum concentration: Consequences for developmental stability of the water strider Rheumatobates rileyi (Hemiptera: Gerridae)
    Drover, S, Leung, B, Forbes, MR, Mallory, ML, McNicol, DK
    1999 Canadian Journal of Zoology (Date Added: 2011-04-07)

    5- Aggregated parasite distributions on hosts in a homogeneous environment: Examining the Poisson null model
    Leung, B
    1998 International Journal for Parasitology (Date Added: 2011-04-07)

    4- Modelling fluctuating asymmetry in relation to stress and fitness
    Leung, B, Forbes, MR
    1997 Oikos (Date Added: 2011-04-07)