Gund Fellow, Research Assistant Professor, Department of Plant and Soil Science

Scott C. Merrill examines dynamics of change within pest-crop agroecosystems including aspects of climate change. He is the Managing Director of the Social Ecological Gaming and Simulation (SEGS) lab, where he uses experimental gaming as a novel technique for collecting data to examine human dimensions of social ecological systems. To address questions in these social ecological systems, he synthesizes data from a variety of sources including information derived from field research and experimental gaming data, and uses a variety of quantitative techniques including Monte Carlo simulation, population modeling, spatiotemporal forecast modeling and landscape ecology. An important goal of his work is the creation of applicable and predictive models to reduce the negative impacts on ecosystems. His current projects include helping to inform Integrated Pest Management in agricultural systems, reducing the spread of disease in our livestock industries, and improving water quality in the Lake Champlain watershed.


  • 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

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

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.


  • PhD, Ecology, Colorado State University
  • BS, Mathematics, University of Oregon
  • BS, Psychology, University of Oregon


  • 802-656-0711
Office Location:

217 Jeffords, UVM

  1. Personal website