Emily Prigmore Awarded ORCA Scholarship to Model Ecological Phenomenon of Yellowstone National Park

February 9, 2017

Emily Prigmore has received and ORCA grant of $1500 for her research in modeling the ecological phenomenon of Yellowstone National Park. Since wolf reintroduction to Yellowstone twenty years ago, there have been many ecological changes regarding other animals and plants in the area. Emily’s research is using Lotka-Volterra equations and pursuit-evasion games to model the population and behavior dynamics of various animals and plants in Yellowstone since wolf reintroduction. The purpose of this research is to better understand the consequences of species elimination and introduction. This research can be expanded to other ecosystems where species elimination or introduction is in serious consideration.

Emily Prigmore’s Honors Thesis has been approved. In addition, Emily has received a grant of $1000 to go toward her research in Yellowstone National Park. Emily’s thesis is titled “Computationally Modeling the Trophic Cascade in Yellowstone National Park.” The trophic cascade has raised questions about our knowledge of the consequences of species elimination and introduction. This research is done in hopes of eventually finding a way to accurately predict species elimination and introduction on various ecosystems. Emily hopes to travel to Yellowstone this summer to learn from the ecological experts how they think about the issues presented by the trophic cascade.