Scientists & Staff

T. Trotter 10/21

R. Talbot Trotter, III

Research Ecologist
51 Mill Pond Road
Hamden, CT, 06514
Phone: 203-230-4312

Contact R. Talbot Trotter, III

Current Research

Current research is focused on three inter-related areas, which can be generally described as:

1) The biology, phenology, and distribution of invasive forest insects and their biological controls.

2) The direct impacts of invasive insects on hosts, and indirect effects on associated ecological communities.

3) Linking points 1 and 2, and scaling/modeling these interactions across larger spatial and temporal scales.

Currently, the invasive hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae) and the Asian Longhorned Beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis) provide model systems for evaluating the ecological processes associated with the arrival, growth, and impact of invasive forest insects. Using the hemlock woolly adelgid for example, four questions are being investigated.

A) How many, and which species are associated with eastern hemlock in the eastern United States? How many of these species are dependant on hemlock, and how does the removal of hemlock (or the degradation of hemlock condition) alter the capacity and suitability of this forest resource?

B) How does the use of systemic insecticides such as imidacloprid, which is used to control the hemlock woolly adelgid, impact the non-target community of arthropods on easter hemlock? How do these impacts evolve through time relative to the temporal impacts of insecticides on the target species?

C) How does the genetic composition of the host hemlock relate to the associated arthropod community? Can hybrid hemlocks be used as ecological surrogates for the biodiversity associated with eastern hemlock in the eastern United States?

D) How do adelgid population dynamics respond to landscape heterogenaity, and does this heterogenaity interact with the use of biological controls and bio-pesisticides used to control the hemlock woolly adelgid?

Featured Publications & Products

Publications & Products

National Research Highlights

New Adaptive Tools Enhance Shared Stewardship in Battling Asian Longhorned Beetle

Year: 2020

Researchers and managers with the USDA Forest Service and Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) are developing new tools that share the activities and results of the cooperative Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) eradication programs, contributing to a more efficient response and speedier eradication of a potentially devastating nonnative invasive species.

Asian longhorned beetle adult on Norway Maple leaf.

Asian longhorned beetle has broad climate adaptability and invasion potential

Year: 2017

The Asian longhorned beetle has flexibility in its life history, putting it in a good position to successfully invade a broad range of locations and climate conditions. Forest Service scientists have developed a new climate-driven phenology model which demonstrates that few locations with host trees in the U.S. or Europe are safe from potential invasion by this insect.

The surface of the graph shows the probability of finding the Asian longhorned beetle within the infested area around Worcester, MA. Risk is estimated on a hectare scale. R. Talbot Trotter, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

Precision Targeting of Surveys to Eradicate the Asian Longhorned Beetle

Year: 2016

Using data collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Asian Longhorned Beetle Eradication Program, Forest Service research shows the potential to identify local patterns of dispersal by the beetle and target survey efforts.

Reconstructed pattern of spread in Worcester. USDA Forest Service

Patterns and Probabilities of Spread Highlight Hot Spots in Asian Longhorned Beetle Infestations

Year: 2015

A Forest Service scientist in collaboration with the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service is accelerating the fight against the Asian longhorned beetle by identifying infestation hot-spots.

Hemlock trees in the eastern U.S. have not yet been severely impacted by the hemlock woolly adelgid but the landscape may be at a tipping point. David Lee, USDA Forest Service

The Future of Hemlock Trees in the Eastern U.S. Remains Dicey

Year: 2013

The arrival of the hemlock woolly adelgid, an invasive insect from Asia, threatens the stability and sustainability of hemlock in the eastern U.S. An analysis of landscape level data provided by the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Program shows that while some local impacts have been severe, at a landscape scale, hemlock is not yet severely impacted. But the researchers predict, if the adelgid continues to go unchecked, the fate of hemlocks remains unknown.

Last modified: Thursday, September 30, 2021