31 Bennett, J Renton, M Diggle, A Evans, F Schellhorn, N 2009 Forecasting spread for rapid response <p><span lang="EN"> <p align="left">Rapid response protocols are essential to minimise the cost of incursion of a new invading pest/disease organism. A key element of a rapid response is an effective surveillance strategy, which relies on the ability to forecast the spread of the organism in the environment in which it was found. Currently rate of movement is estimated semi-quantitatively, on a case-by-case analysis, to guide containment or eradication programs. These estimates have sometimes been found to be inaccurate after the fact due to lack of quantification of the way that an organism&rsquo;s characteristics affect its spread.</p> <p align="left">This project aims to improve the accuracy of spread forecasting by developing a general rapid response system to rapidly summarise the spread characteristics of any new invading pest/disease organism. Instead of splitting species into specific functional groups, our framework will consider a multi-layered functional group approach where each organism is grouped separately for different types of characteristics, i.e. layers. In the event of an incursion the new organism will be characterised within each of these layers. The resulting combination of groupings will then form a multi-layer functional characterisation of that organism.</p> <p>The system will provide a parameterisation for spread models for any invasive organism. I will present the initial prototype design for the multi-layered characterisation system along with some preliminary test output.</p> </span></p>