Penn State Science
Katriona Shea

Katriona Shea

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Professor of biology

415A Mueller
University Park, PA 16801
Phone: (814) 865-7910
Lab Address: 415 Mueller
Lab Phone: (814) 865-7912


  1. B.A., Physics, New College, Oxford, United Kingdom (1990)
  2. Ph.D., Theoretical Population Ecology, Imperial College, University of London, United Kingdom (1994)

Postdoc Training:

  1. Postdoctoral Researcher, University of California, Santa Barbara (1994-96)
  2. Postdoctoral Fellow, Cooperative Research Centre for Weed Management,
  3. CSIRO, Australia (1996-99)

Research Interests:

Theoretical Applied Ecology

My primary research interest is in the use of ecological theory, particularly life history-based models, in population management. I address issues in conservation, harvesting, and the control of invasive species. An in-depth ecological understanding is essential for successful management, and this research focus allows me to ask important ecological questions for species of special concern. For example, I address the ecological factors that make certain species successful invaders of specific communities. At the same time, I examine the ways in which we can manipulate these factors to achieve management goals. My research focuses on population management in a variety of ways, including quantitative theoretical studies of real systems, purely theoretical studies that inform practical approaches, and collaborative empirical work.

Selected Publications:

Campbell, C., Y. Yang, R. Albert, and K. Shea. 2011. A network model for plant-pollinator community assembly. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 108(1): 197-202.

Miller, A. D., S. H. Roxburgh, and K. Shea. 2011. How frequency and intensity shape diversity-disturbance relationships. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 108(14): 5643-5648.

Shea, K., E. Jongejans, O. Skarpaas, D. Kelly, and A. Sheppard. 2010. Optimal management strategies to control local population growth or population spread may not be the same. Ecological Applications 20(4): 1148-1161.

Shea, K. 2007. How the Wood Moves. Science 315: 1231-1232.

Skarpaas, O. and K. Shea. 2007. Dispersal patterns, dispersal mechanisms and invasion wave speeds for Carduus thistles. American Naturalist 170(3): 421-430.

Shea, K., S. H. Roxburgh, and E. S. J. Rauschert. 2004. Moving from pattern to process: Coexistence mechanisms under intermediate disturbance regimes. Ecology Letters 7: 491-508.

Shea, K., H. Possingham, W. W. Murdoch, and R. Roush. 2002. Active adaptive management in insect pest and weed control: Intervention with a plan for learning. Ecological Applications 12(3): 927-936.

Shea, K. and P. Chesson. 2002. Community ecology theory as a framework for biological invasions. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 17(4): 170-176.

Shea, K., P. H. Thrall, and J. J. Burdon. 2000. An integrated approach to management in epidemiology and pest control. Ecology Letters 3: 150-158.

Shea, K. and the NCEAS Working Group on Population Management. 1998. Management of Populations in Conservation, Harvesting and Control. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 13(9): 371-375.



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