Katriona Shea

Professor of Biology and Alumni Professor in the Biological Sciences




Katriona Shea is Professor of Ecology and the Alumni Professor in the Biological Sciences at the Pennsylvania State University in the USA. She also holds an Adjunct Professor position at the Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø. She received her BA (Hons) in Physics from Oxford in 1990 and her PhD in theoretical population ecology from Imperial College, London University in 1994. Following postdoctoral positions in California and Australia, she joined the faculty at Penn State in 2001. Professor Shea uses a wide range of empirical and quantitative methods to study the ecology and management of invasive and outbreaking species in perturbed environments. Much of her work focuses on the applied ecology of invasive plants, addressing the demography, dispersal and spread of plant invaders, but she also studies a variety of insects, marine organisms, bacteria and mammals as well as epidemiological systems such as measles and Ebola. More information can be found at She serves as an editorial board member for the journals Biological Invasions, Ecology Letters and Population Ecology. Professor Shea was named a Fellow of the Ecological Society of America in 2016.

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Truelove S, Smith CP, Qin M, Mullany LC, Borchering RK, Lessler J, Shea K, Howerton E, Contamin L, Levander J, Kerr J, Hochheiser H, Kinsey M, Tallaksen K, Wilson S, Shin L, Rainwater-Lovett K, Lemairtre JC, Dent J, Kaminsky J, Lee EC, Perez-Saez J, Hill A, Karlen D, Chinazzi M, Davis JT, Mu K, Xiong X, Pastore Y Piontti A, Vespignani A, Srivastava A, Porebski P, Venkatramanan S, Adiga A, Lewis B, Klahn B, Outten J, Orr M, Harrison G, Hurt B, Chen J, Vullikanti A, Marathe M, Hoops S, Bhattacharya P, Machi D, Chen S, Paul R, Janies D, Thill JC, Galanti M, Yamana TK, Pei S, Shaman JL, Healy JM, Slayton RB, Biggerstaff M, Johansson MA, Runge MC, Viboud C. (2022). Projected resurgence of COVID-19 in the United States in July-December 2021 resulting from the increased transmissibility of the Delta variant and faltering vaccination. eLife, (11)

Herrera-Diestra JL, Tildesley M, Shea K, Ferrari MJ. (2022). Cattle transport network predicts endemic and epidemic foot-and-mouth disease risk on farms in Turkey. PLoS computational biology, 18(8)

Probert WJM, Nicol S, Ferrari MJ, Li SL, Shea K, Tildesley MJ, Runge MC. (2022). Vote-processing rules for combining control recommendations from multiple models. Philosophical transactions. Series A, Mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences, 380(2233)

Reich NG, Lessler J, Funk S, Viboud C, Vespignani A, Tibshirani RJ, Shea K, Schienle M, Runge MC, Rosenfeld R, Ray EL, Niehus R, Johnson HC, Johansson MA, Hochheiser H, Gardner L, Bracher J, Borchering RK, Biggerstaff M. (2022). Collaborative Hubs: Making the Most of Predictive Epidemic Modeling. American journal of public health

Lear L, Padfield D, Inamine H, Shea K, Buckling A. (2022). Disturbance-mediated invasions are dependent on community resource abundance. Ecology

Keller JA, Shea K. (2022). Pest management in future climates: Warming reduces physical weed management effectiveness. Ecological applications : a publication of the Ecological Society of America

Swallow B, Birrell P, Blake J, Burgman M, Challenor P, Coffeng LE, Dawid P, De Angelis D, Goldstein M, Hemming V, Marion G, McKinley TJ, Overton CE, Panovska-Griffiths J, Pellis L, Probert W, Shea K, Villela D, Vernon I. (2022). Challenges in estimation, uncertainty quantification and elicitation for pandemic modelling. Epidemics, (38)

Pepin KM, Davis AJ, Epanchin-Niell RS, Gormley AM, Moore JL, Smyser TJ, Shaffer HB, Kendall WL, Shea K, Runge MC, McKee S. (2022). Optimizing management of invasions in an uncertain world using dynamic spatial models. Ecological applications : a publication of the Ecological Society of America

Nichols JD, Bogich TL, Howerton E, Bjørnstad ON, Borchering RK, Ferrari M, Haran M, Jewell C, Pepin KM, Probert WJM, Pulliam JRC, Runge MC, Tildesley M, Viboud C, Shea K. (2021). Strategic testing approaches for targeted disease monitoring can be used to inform pandemic decision-making. PLoS biology, 19(6)

Blackwood JC, Malakhov MM, Duan J, Pellett JJ, Phadke IS, Lenhart S, Sims C, Shea K. (2021). Governance structure affects transboundary disease management under alternative objectives. BMC public health, 21(1)

Li SL, Keller J, Runge MC, Shea K. (2021). Weighing the unknowns: Value of Information for biological and operational uncertainty in invasion management. The Journal of applied ecology, 58(8)

Howerton E, Ferrari MJ, Bjørnstad ON, Bogich TL, Borchering RK, Jewell CP, Nichols JD, Probert WJM, Runge MC, Tildesley MJ, Viboud C, Shea K. (2021). Synergistic interventions to control COVID-19: Mass testing and isolation mitigates reliance on distancing. PLoS computational biology, 17(10)

Ware-Gilmore F, Sgrò CM, Xi Z, Dutra HLC, Jones MJ, Shea K, Hall MD, Thomas MB, McGraw EA. (2021). Microbes increase thermal sensitivity in the mosquito Aedes aegypti, with the potential to change disease distributions. PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 15(7)

Tao Y, Probert WJM, Shea K, Runge MC, Lafferty K, Tildesley M, Ferrari M. (2021). Causes of delayed outbreak responses and their impacts on epidemic spread. Journal of the Royal Society, Interface, 18(176)

Bjørnstad ON, Shea K, Krzywinski M, Altman N. (2021). Author Correction: The SEIRS model for infectious disease dynamics. Nature methods

Lear L, Hesse E, Shea K, Buckling A. (2020). Disentangling the mechanisms underpinning disturbance-mediated invasion. Proceedings. Biological sciences, 287(1919)

Shea K, Bjørnstad ON, Krzywinski M, Altman N. (2020). Uncertainty and the management of epidemics. Nature methods

Bjørnstad ON, Shea K, Krzywinski M, Altman N. (2020). Modeling infectious epidemics. Nature methods, 17(5)

Atkins BD, Jewell CP, Runge MC, Ferrari MJ, Shea K, Probert WJM, Tildesley MJ. (2020). Anticipating future learning affects current control decisions: A comparison between passive and active adaptive management in an epidemiological setting. Journal of theoretical biology

Keller JA, Shea K. (2021). Warming and shifting phenology accelerate an invasive plant life cycle. Ecology, 102(1)

Shea K, Runge MC, Pannell D, Probert WJM, Li SL, Tildesley M, Ferrari M. (2020). Harnessing multiple models for outbreak management. Science (New York, N.Y.), 368(6491)

Shea K, Borchering RK, Probert WJM, Howerton E, Bogich TL, Li S, Van Panhuis WG, Viboud C, Aguas R, Belov A, Bhargava SH, Cavany S, Chang JC, Chen C, Chen J, Chen S, Chen Y, Childs LM, Chow CC, Crooker I, Del Valle SY, España G, Fairchild G, Gerkin RC, Germann TC, Gu Q, Guan X, Guo L, Hart GR, Hladish TJ, Hupert N, Janies D, Kerr CC, Klein DJ, Klein E, Lin G, Manore C, Meyers LA, Mittler J, Mu K, Núñez RC, Oidtman R, Pasco R, Piontti APY, Paul R, Pearson CAB, Perdomo DR, Perkins TA, Pierce K, Pillai AN, Rael RC, Rosenfeld K, Ross CW, Spencer JA, Stoltzfus AB, Toh KB, Vattikuti S, Vespignani A, Wang L, White L, Xu P, Yang Y, Yogurtcu ON, Zhang W, Zhao Y, Zou D, Ferrari M, Pannell D, Tildesley M, Seifarth J, Johnson E, Biggerstaff M, Johansson M, Slayton RB, Levander J, Stazer J, Salerno J, Runge MC. (2020). COVID-19 reopening strategies at the county level in the face of uncertainty: Multiple Models for Outbreak Decision Support. medRxiv : the preprint server for health sciences

Bjørnstad ON, Shea K, Krzywinski M, Altman N. (2020). The SEIRS model for infectious disease dynamics. Nature methods, 17(6)

Beckman NG, Aslan CE, Rogers HS, Kogan O, Bronstein JL, Bullock JM, Hartig F, HilleRisLambers J, Zhou Y, Zurell D, Brodie JF, Bruna EM, Cantrell RS, Decker RR, Efiom E, Fricke EC, Gurski K, Hastings A, Johnson JS, Loiselle BA, Miriti MN, Neubert MG, Pejchar L, Poulsen JR, Pufal G, Razafindratsima OH, Sandor ME, Shea K, Schreiber S, Schupp EW, Snell RS, Strickland C, Zambrano J. (2020). Advancing an interdisciplinary framework to study seed dispersal ecology. AoB PLANTS, 12(2)

Russo L, Keller J, Vaudo AD, Grozinger CM, Shea K. (2019). Warming Increases Pollen Lipid Concentration in an Invasive Thistle, with Minor Effects on the Associated Floral-Visitor Community. Insects, 11(1)

Aslan C, Beckman NG, Rogers HS, Bronstein J, Zurell D, Hartig F, Shea K, Pejchar L, Neubert M, Poulsen J, HilleRisLambers J, Miriti M, Loiselle B, Effiom E, Zambrano J, Schupp G, Pufal G, Johnson J, Bullock JM, Brodie J, Bruna E, Cantrell RS, Decker R, Fricke E, Gurski K, Hastings A, Kogan O, Razafindratsima O, Sandor M, Schreiber S, Snell R, Strickland C, Zhou Y. (2019). Employing plant functional groups to advance seed dispersal ecology and conservation. AoB PLANTS, 11(2)

Probert WJM, Lakkur S, Fonnesbeck CJ, Shea K, Runge MC, Tildesley MJ, Ferrari MJ. (2019). Context matters: using reinforcement learning to develop human-readable, state-dependent outbreak response policies. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 374(1776),

Li SL, Ferrari MJ, Bjørnstad ON, Runge MC, Fonnesbeck CJ, Tildesley MJ, Pannell D, Shea K. (2019). Concurrent assessment of epidemiological and operational uncertainties for optimal outbreak control: Ebola as a case study. Proceedings. Biological sciences, 286(1905)

Russo L, Vaudo AD, Fisher CJ, Grozinger CM, Shea K. (2019). Bee community preference for an invasive thistle associated with higher pollen protein content. Oecologia, 190(4)

Rui Zhang, Katriona Shea. (2019). Working smarter, not harder: Objective-dependent management of an invasive thistle, Carduus nutans. Invasive Plant Science and Management, 12(3)

Rogers HS, Beckman NG, Hartig F, Johnson JS, Pufal G, Shea K, Zurell D, Bullock JM, Cantrell RS, Loiselle B, Pejchar L, Razafindratsima OH, Sandor ME, Schupp EW, Strickland WC, Zambrano J. (2019). The total dispersal kernel: a review and future directions. AoB PLANTS, 11(5)

Johnson JS, Cantrell RS, Cosner C, Hartig F, Hastings A, Rogers HS, Schupp EW, Shea K, Teller BJ, Yu X, Zurell D, Pufal G. (2019). Rapid changes in seed dispersal traits may modify plant responses to global change. AoB PLANTS, 11(3)

Schupp EW, Zwolak R, Jones LR, Snell RS, Beckman NG, Aslan C, Cavazos BR, Effiom E, Fricke EC, Montaño-Centellas F, Poulsen J, Razafindratsima OH, Sandor ME, Shea K. (2019). Intrinsic and extrinsic drivers of intraspecific variation in seed dispersal are diverse and pervasive. AoB PLANTS, 11(6)

L. Russo, R. Albert, C. Campbell, K. Shea. (2019). Experimental species introduction shapes network interactions in a plant-pollinator community. Biological Invasions, 21(12)

A. McKee, M. J. Ferrari, and K. Shea. (2018). Correlation between measles vaccine doses: implications for the maintenance of elimination. Epidemiology and Infection, 146(4)

Baker CM, Ferrari MJ, Shea K. (2018). Beyond dose: Pulsed antibiotic treatment schedules can maintain individual benefit while reducing resistance. Scientific reports, 8(1)

Girard, F., Shea, K., and Fisher, C.R.. (2018). Projecting the recovery of a long lived deep sea coral species after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill using state structured models. Journal of Applied Ecology, 55(4)

Miller, A.D.M. Hsing, P.-Y., Roxburgh, S., Fisher, C., Shea, K.. (2018). Impacts of altered disturbance regimes on community structure and biodiversity mediated by fecundity–tolerance interactions. Natural Resource Modeling, 31(4)

Probert WJM, Jewell CP, Werkman M, Fonnesbeck CJ, Goto Y, Runge MC, Sekiguchi S, Shea K, Keeling MJ, Ferrari MJ, Tildesley MJ. (2018). Real-time decision-making during emergency disease outbreaks. PLoS computational biology, 14(7)

Vahsen M.L., Shea, K., Hovis, C.L., Teller, B.J. and Hufbauer, R.A.. (2018). Prior adaptation, diversity, and introduction frequency mediate the positive relationship between propagule pressure and the initial success of founding populations. Biological Invasions, 20(9)

Fonnesbeck CJ, Shea K, Carran S, Cassio de Moraes J, Gregory C, Goodson JL, Ferrari MJ. (2018). Measles outbreak response decision-making under uncertainty: a retrospective analysis. Journal of the Royal Society, Interface, 15(140),

Tao Y, Shea K, Ferrari M. (2018). Logistical constraints lead to an intermediate optimum in outbreak response vaccination. PLoS Computational Biology, 14(5),

Li SL, Bjørnstad ON, Ferrari MJ, Mummah R, Runge MC, Fonnesbeck CJ, Tildesley MJ, Probert WJM, Shea K. (2017). Essential information: Uncertainty and optimal control of Ebola outbreaks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 114(22)

Rauschert, E.S.J. and Shea, K.. (2017). Competition between similar invasive species: modeling invasional interference across a landscape. Population Ecology, 59(1)

Campbell C, Aucott S, Ruths J, Ruths D, Shea K, Albert R. (2017). Correlations in the degeneracy of structurally controllable topologies for networks. Scientific reports, (7)

Bradbury NV, Probert WJ, Shea K, Runge MC, Fonnesbeck CJ, Keeling MJ, Ferrari MJ, Tildesley MJ. (2017). Quantifying the Value of Perfect Information in Emergency Vaccination Campaigns. PLoS computational biology, 13(2)

Sezen, Z., Johnson, D.M. and Shea, K.. (2017). Individually mark mass release resight study elucidates effects of patch characteristics and distance on host patch location by an insect herbivore. Ecological Entomology, 42(3)

Milner-Gulland EJ, Shea K. (2017). Embracing uncertainty in applied ecology. The Journal of applied ecology, 54(6)

Russo, L.A., and Shea, K.. (2017). Deliberately increased network connectance in a plant-pollinator community experiment. Journal of Complex Networks, 5(3)

McKEE A, Shea K, Ferrari MJ. (2017). Optimal vaccine schedules to maintain measles elimination with a two-dose routine policy. Epidemiology and infection, 145(2)

Marins, A., Costa, D., Russo, L., Campbell, C., DeSouza, O., Bjørnstad, O., and Shea, K.. (2016). Termite cohabitation: the relative effect of biotic and abiotic factors on mound biodiversity. Ecological Entomology, 41(5)

Campbell C, Russo L, Marins A, DeSouza O, Schönrogge K, Mortensen D, Tooker J, Albert R, Shea K. (2016). Top-down network analysis characterizes hidden termite-termite interactions. Ecology and evolution, 6(17)

Probert WJ, Shea K, Fonnesbeck CJ, Runge MC, Carpenter TE, Dürr S, Garner MG, Harvey N, Stevenson MA, Webb CT, Werkman M, Tildesley MJ, Ferrari MJ. (2016). Decision-making for foot-and-mouth disease control: Objectives matter. Epidemics, (15)

McCormick GL, Shea K, Langkilde T. (2015). How do duration, frequency, and intensity of exogenous CORT elevation affect immune outcomes of stress?. General and comparative endocrinology, (222)

Campbell C, Ruths J, Ruths D, Shea K, Albert R. (2015). Topological constraints on network control profiles. Scientific reports, (5)

Rauschert ES, Shea K, Goslee S. (2015). Plant community associations of two invasive thistles. AoB PLANTS, (7)

Silva FM, Donega MA, Cerdeira AL, Corniani N, Velini ED, Cantrell CL, Dayan FE, Coelho MN, Shea K, Duke SO. (2014). Roots of the invasive species Carduus nutans L. and C. acanthoides L. produce large amounts of aplotaxene, a possible allelochemical. Journal of chemical ecology, 40(3)

Marchetto KM, Shea K, Kelly D, Groenteman R, Sezen Z, Jongejans E. (2014). Unrecognized impact of a biocontrol agent on the spread rate of an invasive thistle. Ecological applications : a publication of the Ecological Society of America, 24(5)

Shea K, Tildesley MJ, Runge MC, Fonnesbeck CJ, Ferrari MJ. (2014). Adaptive Management and the Value of Information: Learning Via Intervention in Epidemiology. PLOS Biology, 12(10)

Russo L, Debarros N, Yang S, Shea K, Mortensen D. (2013). Supporting crop pollinators with floral resources: network-based phenological matching. Ecology and evolution, 3(9)

Hall AR, Miller AD, Leggett HC, Roxburgh SH, Buckling A, Shea K. (2012). Diversity-disturbance relationships: frequency and intensity interact. Biology letters, 8(5)

Rauschert ES, Shea K. (2012). Influence of microsite disturbance on the establishment of two congeneric invasive thistles. PloS one, 7(9)

Campbell C, Yang S, Shea K, Albert R. (2012). Topology of plant-pollinator networks that are vulnerable to collapse from species extinction. Physical review. E, Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics, 86(2 Pt 1)

Rauschert ES, Shea K. (2012). Invasional interference due to similar inter- and intraspecific competition between invaders may affect management. Ecological applications : a publication of the Ecological Society of America, 22(5)

Nord EA, Shea K, Lynch JP. (2011). Optimizing reproductive phenology in a two-resource world: a dynamic allocation model of plant growth predicts later reproduction in phosphorus-limited plants. Annals of botany, 108(2)

Zhang R, Jongejans E, Shea K. (2011). Warming increases the spread of an invasive thistle. PloS one, 6(6)

Zhang R, Shea K. (2012). Integrating multiple disturbance aspects: management of an invasive thistle, Carduus nutans. Annals of botany, 110(7)

Miller AD, Roxburgh SH, Shea K. (2011). How frequency and intensity shape diversity-disturbance relationships. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108(14)

Russo L, Stehouwer R, Heberling JM, Shea K. (2011). The composite insect trap: an innovative combination trap for biologically diverse sampling. PloS one, 6(6)

Jongejans E, de Kroon H, Tuljapurkar S, Shea K. (2010). Plant populations track rather than buffer climate fluctuations. Ecology letters, 13(6)

Campbell C, Yang S, Albert R, Shea K. (2011). A network model for plant-pollinator community assembly. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108(1)

Yang S, Ferrari MJ, Shea K. (2011). Pollinator Behavior Mediates Negative Interactions between Two Congeneric Invasive Plant Species. The American naturalist, 177(1)

Shea K, Jongejans E, Skarpaas O, Kelly D, Sheppard AW. (2010). Optimal management strategies to control local population growth or population spread may not be the same. Ecological applications : a publication of the Ecological Society of America, 20(4)

Marchetto KM, Williams MB, Jongejans E, Auhl R, Shea K. (2010). Applications of particle image velocimetry for seed release studies. Ecology, 91(8)

Bogich T, Shea K. (2008). A state-dependent model for the optimal management of an invasive metapopulation. Ecological applications : a publication of the Ecological Society of America, 18(3)

Jongejans E, Pedatella NM, Shea K, Skarpaas O, Auhl R. (2007). Seed release by invasive thistles: the impact of plant and environmental factors. Proceedings. Biological sciences, 274(1624)

Skarpaas O, Auhl R, Shea K. (2006). Environmental variability and the initiation of dispersal: turbulence strongly increases seed release. Proceedings. Biological sciences, 273(1587)

Aníbal Pauchard, Katriona Shea. (2006). Integrating the study of non-native plant invasions across spatial scales. Biological Invasions, 8(3)

Cordes EE, Arthur MA, Shea K, Arvidson RS, Fisher CR. (2005). Modeling the mutualistic interactions between tubeworms and microbial consortia. PLoS biology, 3(3)

Katriona Shea Stephen H. Roxburgh Emily S. J. Rauschert. (2004). Moving from pattern to process: coexistence mechanisms under intermediate disturbance regimes. Ecology Letters, 7(6)

Stephen H. Roxburgh Katriona Shea J. Bastow Wilson. (2004). The intermediate disturbance hypothesis: patch dynamics and mechanisms of species coexistence. Ecology, 85(2)

Katriona Shea, Peter Chesson. (2002). Community ecology theory as a framework for biological invasions. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 17(4)

K Shea, Hugh Philip Possingham. (2001). Optimal release strategies for biological control agents: an application of stochastic dynamic programming to population management. Journal of Applied Ecology, 37(1)

Katriona Shea, The NCEAS Working Group on Population Management. (1998). Management of populations in conservation, harvesting and control. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 13(9)


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