Mark DeVisser

grad_DeVisser_2014
  • Ph.D.

  • Email: devisse6@msu.edu
  • Geography Building
    673 Auditorium Rd, Room 116
    East Lansing, MI 48824
  • Areas of interest: Spatial Modeling
Ph.D.

Research Synopsis:

grad_research_devisserMy general interests lie in biogeography, spatial ecology, and dynamic modeling. During my undergraduate career at Portland State University I focused on ecology, biogeography, and geospatial technologies. Since matriculation at Michigan State University, I continued ecological research and have expanded my understanding and use of geographic information science (GIScience) and remote sensing in my course work, masters thesis, and current research endeavors under the expert tutelage of Dr. Joseph P. Messina.

At present my research focuses on tsetse fly distributions in Kenya. Tsetse are the primary vector for African trypanosomiasis, a neglected tropical disease that affects both humans and livestock throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. Several factors can lead to an expansion or contraction of tsetse spatio-temporal distributions; including the introduction of non-native plant species. One such plant species theorized to impact the amount of suitable tsetse land cover is Prosopis juliflora. My research aims to analyze the suitability and impact of Prosopis juliflora with regards to tsetse habitat in Kenya using synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data, LANDSAT data, and in situ field observations. The Tsetse Ecological Distribution (TED) Model, which was developed as part of my masters thesis, will then be used to predict the effect of Prosopis juliflora invasion on tsetse distributions.