My CV (updated 12/11/2017).

Recent publications

Vitense K, MA Hanson, BR Herwig, KD Zimmer, J Fieberg. In press. Uncovering state-dependent relationships in shallow lakes using Bayesian latent variable regression. Ecological Applications.

Barraquand F, S Louca, KC Abbott, C Cobbold, F Cordoleani, D DeAngelis, BD Elderd, JW Fox, P Greenwood, FM Hilker, F Lutscher, D Murray, CR Stieha, RA Taylor, K Vitense, G Wolkowicz, RC Tyson. 2017. Moving forward in circles: challenges and opportunities in modelling population cycles. Ecology Letters, 20(8):1074-1092.

Vitense K, AJ Wirsing, RC Tyson, JJ Anderson. 2016. Theoretical impacts of habitat loss and generalist predation on predator-prey cycles. Ecological Modelling, 327:85-94.


Doctoral Research

Shallow lakes in Minnesota: Can we predict the good, the bad, and the vulnerable?


Shallow lakes generally exist in one of two alternative stable states: a clear-water state with primary production dominated by submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) and a turbid-water state with phytoplankton dominating over SAV. Turbid lakes provide poor habitat for waterfowl and other wetland wildlife, and toxic cyanobacterial blooms occur more frequently under the turbid regime. Thus, shallow lake managers need models and tools to identify lakes that have a high risk of transitioning to the undesirable turbid state, to prioritize lakes for management actions, and to evaluate the likelihood of successful interventions for turbid lakes. For my dissertation, I am working on statistical methods for classifying lake states, estimating nutrient tipping points, and quantifying state transition risk as a function of watershed and in-lake variables (e.g., land use, phosphorus levels, benthivorous fish densities).


MS Research

Theoretical impacts of habitat loss and generalist predation on predator-prey cycles

Lynx (Felis lynx) hunting snowshoe hare.

Many cyclic herbivores and their predators undergo dramatic fluctuations in abundance in northern latitudes but exhibit damped cyclic dynamics in their respective southern ranges.  While data on southern populations is limited, increased habitat disturbance and higher numbers of generalist predators are two features of southern habitats that have been identified as possible explanations for this north-south gradient in cycle amplitude. Using the snowshoe hare and Canada lynx system as model species, I worked with Jim Anderson and Aaron Wirsing to study the relative and joint impacts of habitat loss and generalist predation on predator-prey cycles using reaction-diffusion equations.


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