Aquatic invasive species

Aquatic invasive species

Invasive species are a leading environmental problem in aquatic ecosystems and provide a challenging set of theoretical questions for population ecology. One question of interest is how to best control the spread of a species within a distributed network of sites. Applications of this work include management of the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) invasion among North American inland lakes  and control of the global spread of invasive species in ships ballast water and sediments (Drake & Lodge 2004, Keller et al. 2010). Of course, to identify the appropriate network of sites requires first determining that a site is potentially invasible. To this end, we are developing methods for estimating the ecological niche of a species (Drake and Bossenbroek 2009). Particularly, we seek to develop estimation methods that are robust to such pervasive data problems as unknown variation in sampling intensity, erroneous or partially missing data, and non-representative datasets.

This work is supported by a grant jointly administered by the NOAA Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research and the US Environmental Protection Agency