Senait Receives MITPCC Grant

November 1, 2018

Senait Senay (Plant Pathology, GEMS™, InSTePP) has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the Minnesota Invasive Terrestrial Plants and Pests Center (MITPPC) that will lead to the development of spatially explicit individual-based pest dispersal simulation platform. The awarded project has global and national collaborators that will be working with the core multi-disciplinary group of researchers based in Minnesota. Dr. Senay will lead the project with PI Professor Terrance Hurley (APEC, InSTePP) who will be looking at the bio-economic component of the research and with Co-PI William Hutchison (Entomology) who will overlook the experimental research component of the proposal. Other collaborators from UMN include Prof. Philip Pardey (APEC, GEMS, InSTePP), Dr. Eric Shook (GES) and Dr. Kevin Silverstein (MSI, GEMS™, InSTePP).

Drs. Senay and Hurley’s team will closely work with developers at the GEMS™ platform (a CFANS and MSI initiative) to ensure that the pest dispersal simulation platform is optimized to run on a High-Performance Computing (HPC) environment enabling timely analysis for large spatial extents. The platform to be developed has two-fold benefit: 1) to aid with invasive species detection and management, and 2) to provide a robust system on which biosecurity researchers can test various hypothesis about invasive species dispersal. The project will be working on the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (Halyomorpha halys) as a target invasive species. 

She also is a co-PI on a recently awarded NSF project.