University of Vermont

College of
Agriculture and Life Sciences

Department of Plant and Soil Science

Scott C. Merrill

Scott C. Merrill

Scott C. Merrill, Ph.D. Research Assistant Professor

  • Ph. D., Ecology, Colorado State University, 2007
  • B.S., Mathematics, University of Oregon, 1994
  • B.S., Psychology, University of Oregon, 1994
  • C.V. (PDF)
Areas of Expertise

Landscape ecology, climate change, population modeling, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), social-ecological systems, Monte Carlo simulations, systems ecology, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and spatiotemporal modeling.

I examine population dynamics within pest-crop agroecosystems including the potential effects of climate change. Additionally, I create experimental games to quantify the decision making processes in various environmental arenas. To address these systems, I synthesize information derived from field data, experimental gaming data using a variety of quantitative techniques including data simulation, population modeling, spatiotemporal forecast modeling and landscape ecology. An important goal of my work is the creation of applicable and predictive models to reduce the negative impacts on ecosystems. For example, I develop models that help inform Integrated Pest Management systems, reduce the spread of disease in our hoofstock industries, and improve water quality in the Lake Champlain watershed.

Contact Information
Phone: (802) 656-0711
Office Hours: 217 Jeffords, by appointment

Recent Publications:

Merrill, S. C., T. O. Holtzer, F. B. Peairs, and P. J. Lester (2015) Validating spatiotemporal predictions of an important pest of small grains. Pest Management Science. 71 (1): 131–138. DOI 10.1002/ps.3778.

Merrill, S. C., F. B. Peairs, T. L. Randolph, G. J. Michels Jr. and C. B. Walker (2014) Examining the competitive advantage of Diuraphis noxia (Hemiptera: Aphididae) biotype 2 over biotype 1. Journal of Economic Entomology 107 (4): 1471-1475.

Merrill, S. C., Walter, S. M., F. B. Peairs, and E. M. Schleip (2013) The distribution of European corn borer moths in sprinkler irrigated corn. Journal of Economic Entomology. 106(5):2084-92

Kerzicnik, L.M., F.B. Peairs, P.E. Cushing, M. Draney, and S.C. Merrill (2013) Faunistic composition of spiders in eastern Colorado agroecosystems and analysis of spider density and diversity in crop-intensified agroecosystems. Environmental Entomology 42(1):131-42

Merrill, S. C., and F. B. Peairs (2012) Quantifying Russian wheat aphid pest intensity across the Great Plains. Environmental Entomology. 41 (5): 1505-1515

Pucherelli, S. F., F. B. Peairs, S. C. Merrill, and T. L. Randolph (2012) Russian Wheat Aphid (Hemiptera: Aphididae) Reproduction and Development on Five Noncultivated Grass Hosts. Arthropod-Plant Interactions. 6(1): 67-73

Merrill, S. C., Walter, S., F. B. Peairs, and J. A. Hoeting (2011) Spatial variability of Western bean cutworm populations in irrigated corn. Environmental Entomology. 40(3):654-660

Merrill, S. C., A. Gebre-Amlak, J. S. Armstrong, and F. B. Peairs (2010) Degree day prediction models for Sunflower stem weevil (Curculionidae: Coleoptera) development and adult emergence. Pages 9-11 in A. Gebre-Amlak, D. A. Kaan, and J. Deering, editors. Colorado State University Golden Plains Area 2010 Agricultural Handbook. Cooperative Extension, Colorado State University Fort Collins, CO.

Merrill, S. C., A. Gebre-Amlak, J. S. Armstrong, and F. B. Peairs (2010) Nonlinear Degree-Day Models of the Sunflower Stem Weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Journal of Economic Entomology 103(2): 303-307

Recent oral presentations and podcasts

Merrill, S. C. (2012) Predicting the effects of climate change on agricultural pest incidence: How secure is our food supply? Invited seminar for the Interdisciplinary Climate Change Seminar series. University of Idaho. March 2012. Moscow, ID

Merrill, S. C. (2011) A Series of Surprises: Modelling the Pest Agroecosystem Landscape. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) Brisbane. June 2011. Brisbane, Australia

Merrill, S. C. (2011) Revisiting our assumptions about the pest agroecosystem landscape. NCEAS (National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis) Ecolunch Seminar Series. June 2011. Santa Barbara, CA

Merrill, S. C. (2011) Could Organic Farming Threaten Our Food Supply? Host: Ranganathan, J. on Curiouser and Curiouser. Miller-McCune.