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Katriona Shea

Katriona Shea

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Alumni Professor of Biology

415A Mueller
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: (814) 865-7910
Lab Address: 415 Mueller
Lab Phone: (814) 865-7912

Graduate Programs

Biology (BIOL)

Ecology (ECLGY)



  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 in population management. I address issues in invasion ecology, epidemiology, conservation and harvesting. 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

Shea K, Tildesley MJ, Runge MC, Fonnesbeck CJ, Ferrari MJ (2014) Adaptive Management and the Value of Information: Learning Via Intervention in Epidemiology. PLoS Biol 12(10): e1001970. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001970

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.