Dr. Janaki R.R. Alavalapati, Dean
School of Forestry & Wildlife Sciences
3301 Forestry and Wildlife Building
602 Duncan Drive
Auburn, Alabama 36849-3418
Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Fall Seminar Series Presents:
Dr. Richard Cobb, Assistant Professor of Forest Health at California State Polytechnic University, will give a talk titled, Hemlock Woolly Adelgid: what a devastating invasive insect tells us about emerging threats to forest health.
Seminar is held at 11am in Conference Room 1101 in the SFWS Building, 602 Duncan Drive, Auburn, AL.
Abstract: Regional level tree mortality emerging where it was unexpected caused by an unexpected source. While the story of eastern hemlock mortality in the US from Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) fits this description, it is by no means unique in terms of exotic agents of mortality in forests. Neither is the history of scientific study of this destructive insect: innocuous discovery and devastating impacts where they were least expected given the state of research at the time. Here I give a history of the discovery and emergence of this insect outbreak along with a review of its impacts in forest ecosystems. I use this information to draw comparisons to other outbreaks to ask if HWA holds lessons that can help forest health professionals avoid the most dreaded outcome: “it was obvious in retrospect.”
Biography: Richard Cobb is from Payson, Arizona. He has a BS in Environmental Science from Northern Arizona University, a MS in Forestry from the University of Maine, and a PhD from UC Davis where he also did a post doc, both focusing on Sudden Oak Death. He is Assistant Professor of Forest Health at California State Polytechnic University.