Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Suzanne Lenhart

Committee Members

Charles Collins, Agricola Odoi, Paul Armsworth


Feral Hogs (Sus scrofa) are an invasive species that have occupied the Great Smoky Mountains National Park since the early 1900s. Recent studies have revitalized interest in the pest and have produced useful data. The Park has kept detailed records on mast abundance as well as every removal since 1980 including geographic location and disease sampling. Data obtained via Lidar includes both overstory as well as understory vegetation information. In this dissertation, three models were created and analyzed using the detailed data on vegetation, mast, and harvest history. The first model is discrete in time and space and was formulated to represent hog dynamics in the park. The second is a spatial model of the niche of the population that relates known presence locations to environmental predictors. The third model is a compartmental disease model for pseudorabies in the population. Together, these projects assess the importance of the existing control program, predict suitable locations for hog presence in the Park, and quantify possible transmission routes for Pseudorabies.

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