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Research Call

DAFM Reference

Lead(Collaborating)Institution

DAFM Award

DAFM National Call 2014 14/C/809 UCD €67,091

Project Title:

Assessing Ireland's risk to airborne spread of ash dieback disease with Lagrangian stochastic models

Project Coordinator:

Dr. Jon Yearsley

Project Abstract

The project will develop a Lagrangian stochastic particle-tracking model that predicts the spatial risk of infection from a known source of Hymenoscyphus pseudoalbidus fungus (the infective agent of ash die-back disease, Chalara fraxinea). This model will combine the NAME model from the UK’s Met Office with meteorological data from Met Eireann and biological details of H. pseudoalbidus’s spores to predict the movement of a cloud of fungal spores, emitted from a specified location. Multiple weather scenarios (e.g. different seasons, extreme events) will capture the intrinsic uncertainty in the spore cloud’s position. This moving cloud can be used to describe a rain of infective spores on the surrounding environment that can then be used to quantify the risk of an infection taking hold in a new location. The proposal has four components: 1. a literature review of H. pseudoalbidus epidemiology and dispersal ecology. 2. Model development to combine biological and meteorological data. 3. Quantify the risk of new infection by combining model output with host species distribution. 4. Model validation using the past spread of H. pseudoalbidus across Europe and surrogate pathogens that can provide high quality data on their spread and similar biology to H. pseudoalbidus.

Final Report:

Final Report (pdf 487Kb)