US Forest Service Research & Development
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  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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Andrew Liebhold

Andrew M. Liebhold

Research Entomologist
US Forest Service Northern Research Station
180 Canfield St.
West Virginia
United States

Phone: 304-285-1512
Fax: 304-285-1505
Contact Andrew M. Liebhold

Current Research

Population biology of biological invasions

Much of my research focuses on understanding ecological processes operating during the arrival, establishment, and spread phases of biological invasions. In particular, I am interested in understanding these processes as the basis for more effective strategies to exclude invaders, prevent establishment (eradication) and contain the spread of invading forest pests. This work includes studies on the gypsy moth, Sirex woodwasp, beech bark disease, Japanese oak wilt disease, emerald ash borer and hemlock woolly adelgid.

Forest insect population dynamics

I am interested in understanding the processes that are responsible for the spatial and temporal patterns of forest insect outbreaks. Many insect species exhibit periodic population oscillations that occur synchronously over large areas but we have only a partial understanding of the population processes (interactions with predators, parasitoids, host plants and disease) that cause these patterns. Analyses of historical data and mathematical models are applied to explore these relationships. This work focuses on the gypsy moth, but includes several other forest insect species as well.

Why This Research is Important

North America is currently experiencing an onslaught of invasions by damaging forest pest species. We need to develop more effective strategies for mitigating this problem. Unfortunately, there are often few options for preventing or minimizing the impacts of these invasions but the development of a clearer understanding of the invasion process is critical for the development of more effective management strategies.

Forest insect outbreaks have a multitude of ecological and economic impacts but currently we have a very limited ability to either predict or prevent such outbreaks. Knowledge of the underlying processes that generate outbreaks is critical for improving our ability to forecast and manage outbreaks in the future.


  • University of Massachusetts, Postdoctoral 1988
  • University of California at Berkeley, Ph.D. Entomology 1984
  • Allegheny College, B.S. Biology 1978

Professional Organizations

  • West Virginia University, Adjunct Faculty (1992 - )
  • Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG). World Conservation Union (IUCN), Elected Member (2005 - )
  • IUFRO Research Group 7.03.00, Entomology, Coordinator (2005 - )
  • Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, PA, Research Associate (1995 - )
  • Population Ecology, Editorial Board (2005 - )
  • Ecology Letters, Editorial Board (2010 - )
  • Biological Invasions, Editorial Board (2013 - )
  • The Pennsylvania State University, Adjunct Faculty (2003 - )

Awards & Recognition

  • International Union of Forest Research Organizations Forest Health Achievement Award, 2019
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2015
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, National Gypsy Moth Management Board, 2011
    Lifetime Achievement Award, National Gypsy Moth Management Board
  • Sustaining Forests and Grasslands Award, Northern Research Station , 2011
  • Scientific Achievement Award, International Union of Forestry Research Organizations, 2010
  • Distinguished Science Award, Northeastern Research Station, 2006
    Distinguished Science Award, Northeastern Research Station
  • Forest Insect and Disease Resesarch Award, Forest Insect and Disease Research, USFS Headquarters, 1994
    Forest Insect and Disease Resesarch Award, Forest Insect and Disease Research, USFS Washington Office
  • Director's award for research excellence, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station, 1994
    Director's award for research excellence, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station

Featured Publications & Products


Research Highlights


A Tree Species’ Evolutionary History Predicts Impact of Invasive Pests

Research by Northern Research Station scientists and their partners presents the first evidence supporting a long-held hypothesis that a tree’ ...


Comparison of Native and Non-native Insect Communities Reflects Importance of Pathways

Insect species are accidentally moved around the world and often cause considerable damage when established. An analysis of insect invasions wor ...


Nonnative Invasive Insects and Diseases Decreasing Carbon Stored in U.S. Forests

Photosynthesis feeds trees and has a significant benefit for people, too, namely the removal of carbon from the atmosphere and into live tree bi ...


Predicting pest invasions

During the last 150 years, hundreds of forest insects have been accidently introduced to the U.S., and many of these have caused substantial dam ...


Last updated on : 10/15/2021