Invasion Biology

The invasive zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha

The invasive zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha. Photo courtesy of the New York Invasive Species Clearinghouse


This course examines the spread of non-indigenous species to habitats and areas outside their home range, and the effects, both negative and positive, that establishment of new species may have in different environments. Using lectures, class discussions and student presentations, we examine the processes and major vectors that can lead to the introduction of non-indigenous species, the interaction between species’ and habitat characteristics in determining the success of a potential invader, and the political and economic consequences of invasive species management actions. Two proposed day trips will also expose students to some practical methods that aim to limit the introduction and spread of potentially damaging invasive species in local terrestrial and marine environments.

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