Minnesota's lakes and streams are increasingly threatened by aquatic invasive species (AIS) and we have few ways to address these threats. In 2012, the Minnesota legislature appropriated funds to create an Aquatic Invasive Species Cooperative Research Center at the University of Minnesota, in collaboration with the Commissioner of Natural Resources (DNR).
The Center's mission is to develop research-based solutions that can reduce the impacts of aquatic invasive species in Minnesota by preventing spread, controlling populations, and managing ecosystems; and to advance knowledge to inspire action by others. MAISRC's vision is to be a vibrant and durable research enterprise that advances the knowledge and builds the capacity that Minnesota needs in order to reduce the impacts of aquatic invasive species on our cherished lakes, rivers, and wetlands.
Learn more about our mission, vision, and plans for the future by reading our 2015 - 2025 Strategic Plan, Reducing AIS risks by advancing research-based solutions.
Why is MAISRC important?
Aquatic invasive species (AIS) have been arriving in Minnesota since the 1800s, but the rate of invasion has recently been increasing.
Although aquatic invasive species may seem unstoppable, there is hope. MAISRC works to develop an in-depth understanding of the biology and ecology of AIS to determine if there are weaknesses in their life histories that can be targeted for control. The concept of targeting vulnerability in an invader's biology has worked for purple loosestrife throughout Minnesota and for sea lamprey in the Great Lakes, and we believe it can work for other aquatic invasive species as well.
Can I visit your lab or hear from your researchers?
Every fall, MAISRC partners with University of Minnesota Extension to hold a Research and Management Showcase on the St. Paul campus. This is the best opportunity for you to see our labs, hear from our researchers, and learn more about aquatic invasive species. Check out presentations from last year's Showcase here, and keep an eye on our events page (or subscribe to our newsletter!) to find out details about the 2016 Showcase.
What is MAISRC's relationship with the University?
The Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center is an interdisciplinary research center at the University of Minnesota. MAISRC may support research at any Minnesota-based academic or governmental research organization, depending on funding. Currently faculty members are housed in the following departments:
- Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology
- BioTechnology Institute
- Soil, Water, and Climate
- Veterinary Population Medicine
While the University has made significant investments in human resources and facilities improvements for the creation of MAISRC, they do not provide ongoing direct funds to support MAISRC research, equipment, or core operations. That's why private donations from people like you are so important.