October 2020 newsletter

We are excited to announce new MAISRC research projects that will be starting in 2021! These projects were selected as part of a competitive proposal process following a comprehensive research needs assessment. The results of these projects will improve our ability to detect, prevent, and manage aquatic invasive species throughout Minnesota. Funding for these projects is provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative – Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR).

New projects include:

1. RNA-interference screens for zebra mussel biocontrol target genes—led by Dr. Daryl Gohl. This project will look to identify weak points in zebra mussel genes that can be used for specifically targeted management and prevention efforts. Learn more >

2. Improving the efficiency of watercraft inspections through coordination and cooperation—led by Dr. Amy Kinsley. Researchers will attempt to quantify the benefits of a coordinated state and county level watercraft inspection program and planning effort. Learn more >

3. Genetic biocontrol of invasive species: understanding attitudes and risk perceptions—led by Dr. David Fulton. Are Minnesotans comfortable with the idea of using genetic biocontrol methods to fight AIS? This project aims to find out. Learn more >

4. Optimizing eDNA monitoring for multiple AIS—led by Josh Dumke. Rather than physically searching for AIS in lakes, researchers hope to establish the optimal methods for filtering and testing water for the environmental DNA of invaders. Learn more >

5. Integrating professional and citizen monitoring to improve surveillance—led by Dr. John Fieberg. Citizen scientists play a critical role in detecting and monitoring invasive species. This project hopes to identify the best way to harness both citizen and professional AIS surveillance efforts. Learn more >

6. Evaluating native Phragmites as a wastewater treatment alternative—led by Dr. Daniel Larkin. Can native Phragmites replace their invasive counterpart at wastewater treatment facilities across Minnesota? This project will test native Phragmites performance. Learn more >

7. Increasing effectiveness of bigheaded carp deterrents by carbon dioxide integration—led by Dr. Allen Mensinger. This project looks to build on current acoustic deterrent techniques by adding a carbon dioxide bubble curtain to the arsenal. Learn more >

8. Enhancing habitat and diversity in cattail-dominated shorelines—led by Dr. Amy Schrank. Cattails can quickly become monocultures along shorelines. This project will explore options for improving biodiversity in cattail-dominated areas. Learn more >


In addition to these new projects, we are also continuing four current lines of research. Projects moving into a next phase include: