PoPS Pest or Pathogen Spread Model

Modeling pest and pathogen spread just got easy.

What is PoPS?

The flexible, customizable PoPS (Pest or Pathogen Spread) model is a free and open-source framework for modeling the spread of any pest or pathogen across a landscape.

With PoPS you can quickly and easily:

  • Calibrate and validate your model
  • Run management or weather scenarios
  • Compare scenarios to make management decisions

Watch the video to learn how PoPS works.
PoPS is easy to use.

Easy-to-use PoPS Forecasting Platform

Coming soon! The PoPS Forecasting Platform features an easy-to-use PoPS Dashboard Interface, the PoPS Database, and the PoPS model running in the cloud. NO programming experience required!

With the easy-to-use PoPS Dashboard Interface, users can:

  • Run PoPS scenarios
  • Compare management interventions
  • Save data in the cloud

Experienced coder? Install the R or GRASS GIS package to run PoPS on your own machine with more customizations and command-line control.

Why PoPS?

Flexible and modular

Various components such as weather effects and long-range dispersal can be easily turned on or off in the model, depending on the system being modeled.


With considerable optimization and parallelization, PoPS runs quickly (up to 10x faster than traditional models), even for landscapes with millions of cells.

Easy to use

With its modular design, PoPS can model a wide range of pests and pathogens with considerably shorter setup time than creating a model from scratch.

What can PoPS model?

PoPS can be used to model most pests or pathogens. So far, PoPS has been used to model plant pests and diseases, and animal diseases.

PoPS is modular, meaning that various components (e.g., weather effects or long-range dispersal) can be included or excluded from the model as necessary (through intuitive on-off switches on the interface) depending on the drivers that influence the species of interest.

Learn more about what PoPs has modeled:

PoPS case studies
Safeguarding plant health and agriculture

Making a Difference

North Carolina State University

We started PoPS in 2018 at the Center for Geospatial Analytics at North Carolina State University, and in collaboration with the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) .

It is our hope that PoPS will help researchers, decision-makers, and stakeholders make decisions about how to most effectively manage emerging pests and pathogens that threaten our landscapes and food supply.

Thank you for the support!

The PoPS team would like to acknowledge the funding agencies that have supported our mission:

PoPS Funding