Eco-epidemiological model to assess aquatic invasive species management

Project manager: Nick Phelps


MAISRC researchers are working to develop a first-of-its-kind eco-epidemiological model that will forecast the potential risk of spread of zebra mussels, Heterosporis, and Eurasian watermilfoil across Minnesota. The model will take into account introduction probability, establishment probability, and levels of management interventions. This model will be used as a decision-making tool to generate effective intervention strategies and design cost-effective surveillance programs to mitigate and prevent the spread of AIS.

To establish introduction probability, pathways among lakes will be evaluated based on water connectivity, boater movement, and geographic proximity. To understand the establishment probability, researchers will use next-generation ecological niche modeling techniques with remote sensing data. Cumulatively, this will identify lakes or areas of the state that are at higher risk for AIS, including lakes that are highly vulnerable and lakes that may be “super-spreaders,” both of which will help prioritize management efforts.   

Project start date: 2016

Estimated project end date: 2018