Academic Venture Fund - 2020
Training Dogs to Sniff Out New Pests
The spotted lanternfly (SLF) is a recently introduced invasive insect whose exponential spread has caused severe ecological and economic impacts on agricultural production, particularly in grape vineyards. With the core infestation nearing New York's borders, government agencies are seeking innovative methods to intercept the SLF before it establishes in the state. Researchers will test how well detection dogs and occupancy modeling aid early detection of the SLF. This study will directly inform state search strategies and serve as a model for detecting other invasive pests in the region.