June 2021 newsletter

(Re) Introducing Meg Duhr, MAISRC Research Outreach Specialist

Like most things in 2020, the first few months on the job of (then) new hire Meg Duhr’s time at MAISRC didn’t exactly go to plan. After only a few weeks in the office, our Center’s first ever outreach position— meant to build relationships through in-person events—found herself in a statewide stay-at-home order. However, looking forward to the rest of summer 2021, Meg will be back on the road and sharing our research with lake associations, local governments, and more! More on Meg's work >

Research in Action - James Johnson

For our second installment of our AIS Professional Q+A, we spoke with James Johnson, a UW-Madison and University of Minnesota alum and founder and lead scientist for Freshwater Scientific Services, LLC, a consultancy that specializes in aquatic plant surveys, lake management planning, and water quality studies. Read the interview >

Plant survey data sharing and a new database to support invasive plant decision-making

MAISRC graduate fellow Mike Verhoeven has been collecting point-intercept survey results from partner groups around the state and has amassed an impressive trove of a data: 3,404 different surveys from 1,526 Minnesota lakes spanning nearly two decades. In the coming months, you’ll hear more about this database and a new, online tool that will make this survey data available to the public and easy to interpret. In the meantime, it’s important that we continue supplying the research team with new point-intercept survey data. One way to streamline this process and ensure that your lake’s survey data is put to use in this project is to include a brief data-sharing agreement clause in your contracts for point-intercept surveys. Learn more >

Starry Trek coming to a lake near you

Starry Trek returns this August, as a new crew of volunteers will set out to explore new lakes, seek out new AIS, and to boldly go where no volunteer has gone before (ok, maybe not that last one). On Saturday, August 21st, volunteers will rendezvous at local training sites across the state to receive training on sampling and identifying aquatic plants and AIS before setting out to their assigned lakes to search for starry stonewort and other priority invaders. Starry Trek info >


  • Save the Date! The MAISRC Research and Management Showcase will be held on September 22, 2021 We are excited to return to the University of Minnesota's St. Paul Continuing Education Conference Center for an in-person offering of sessions. Our team is working to incorporate a partial streaming option for those wishing to attend virtually. Stay tuned for a registration link and more details! 

  • The 3rd Edition of our popular AIS identification guidebook is now available for purchase in the University of Minnesota Bookstore. We've added a new section focusing on invasive wetland plants like invasive Phragmites, narrow leaf cattail, and purple loosestrife. The book includes beautiful, large-format photos and is printed on durable, waterproof paper. Get yours today


Recent publications

Network connectivity of Minnesota waterbodies and implications for aquatic invasive species prevention. Biological Invasions.  
(Kao, Enns, Tomamichel, Doll, Escobar, Qiao, Craft, Phelps)
A key finding: Boaters that visited infested lakes were more likely to visit other lakes, increasing the risk of AIS spread to uninfested lakes. The use of the simulated boater networks can be helpful for determining the risk of AIS invasion for each lake and for developing management tools to assist decision makers to develop intervention strategies.

Comparative Molecular Characterization of Novel and Known Piscine Toti-Like Viruses. Viruses. 
(Sandlund, Mor, Singh, Padhi, Phelps, Nylund, Mikalsen)
A key finding: Researchers applied next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies and discovered three new toti-like viruses, one in wild common carp and one in bluegill from the USA and one in farmed lumpsucker from Norway.