Morgane Henry

McGill University
Ph.D. candidate

Supervisor: Brian Leung
Patrick M.A. James
Start: 2021-01-03


Assessing spatio-temporal dynamics of native pest epidemics: the case of a spruce budworm outbreak in Québec
Spatially synchronous outbreaks of insects such as the spruce budworm (SBW) can significantly damage boreal and mixed-wood forests in North-America. In terms of spatial scale, periodic outbreaks of SBW can cover more area than fire and logging combined also resulting in huge economical losses. A SBW outbreak is currently ongoing in Québec and although this species and its dynamic have been extensively studied for the last century, numerous questions remain unanswered. My research aims to better understand the spatial and temporal outbreak dynamics of SBW. The goal is to develop spatial models using demographic, environmental, and phenological data to investigate how environmental context and dispersal drive the spatial spread of a SBW outbreak in Québec and ultimately in other affected provinces. This project will contribute to a better understanding of complex population processes that lead to outbreaks of forest insect pests, and it will specifically improve the capacity to mitigate and forecast negative consequences of SBW outbreaks in North American forests.


population ecology, outbreak dynamics, Choristoneura fumiferana, state-space model