For the past year, Swati Pandey ’23 has been working to mathematically model the life cycle of the spotted lanternfly (SLF), an invasive pest that feeds on and destroys economically important plants. Partnering with Daniel Strömbom, assistant professor of biology, they have created a model that calculates the population growth rate of the SLF and reveals the efficacy of current control measures. 

Swati Pandey smiles outside Rockwell

Swati Pandey

“Through all our work, there was a sense of motivation that our study had the capacity to result in some tangible applications that could relieve people from the torment of this invasive bug,” says Pandey, a biology major. “By focusing on the life cycle of the spotted lanternfly and how different control measures impact the bug at different stages, we are not only able to predict possible methods to eradicate the bug using our model, but also discuss the realistic issue of incomplete delivery.”

This information, which is new and not previously included in the scientific literature, was recently published in the journal Mathematical Biosciences. 

“Having the opportunity to be a part of this research has impacted my experience at Lafayette immensely,” she says. “For someone who is interested in pursuing a career in research, this early experience has allowed me to see both the tedious and exhilarating side of research. I am most grateful to Prof. Strömbom for always treating me less like a student and more like a collaborator. This experience has taught me to express my ideas freely.”

Learn about other student-faculty research projects.

Undergraduate Research

EXCEL Scholars Program

Lafayette is dedicated to providing unique academic learning opportunities. Scholars work closely and collaboratively with faculty on significant research projects that hone critical-thinking and communication skills.

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Categorized in: Biology, Innovation and Research, Research, STEM, Students

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