Minnesota Mussels - A Bivalved History
I remember the night I fell in love with freshwater mussels. It was an early winter evening—the kind where the dark and cold were just settling in, that time when children look to the sky and exclaim with wonder over the softly drifting young snowflakes, long before the weeks of unrelenting cold make summer a distant memory.
That night, bundled in my winter jacket, I listened to the remarkable story of one of our continent’s greatest treasures. The lights were dimmed for the presentation, obscuring the 70s-era decorating and carpeted walls, directing our focus to a slightly crooked projected presentation.
I had gone to the presentation out of curiosity; at the time, I was working as an invasive species coordinator, and regularly worked to monitor, prevent the spread of, and raise awareness about invasive zebra mussels. Their native counterparts, though, I knew less about.
I’m not sure what others thought of the presentation – but I hung on to every word, almost enchanted as a new world opened before me.
Join us the afternoons of Sept. 22-24, 2020 for the fully online MAISRC Research and Management Showcase. Since we cannot hold the conference in-person this year, we have reduced the cost of registration to $10. Annual proceeds from the conference help us fund future research and rapid response projects.
This year's breakout sessions will include:
- Will property values cool as AIS heat up? Learn more about this study >>
- Common carp management using biocontrol and toxins. Learn more about this study >>
- Copper-based control of zebra mussels. Learn more about this study >>
- And more!
About the Showcase
Every fall, MAISRC hosts a public event to showcase our most recent research and updates from previous studies. Attendees vary from lake association members and local government employees, to concerned citizens and resource managers. Anyone interested in aquatic invasive species is welcome to attend! Traditionally, the Showcase was a one-day, in-person event. However, due to COVID-19, the 2020 Showcase will be held fully online.
We will update our Showcase website with more information on speakers and presentations as details are confirmed: www.MAISRC.umn.edu/showcase.
Tag along with MAISRC Grad Fellow Mike Verhoeven and undergraduate technicians, Jonah Bacon and Jackson Millasovich for some research under the surface.Their project includes monitoring native species after an invasive species is removed. Can biodiversity return without any extra help? Learn more about this project: maisrc.umn.edu/assesment-control-research.
- Extension Educator, Megan Weber, received the 2020 Early Career Award for Extension/Outreach/Engagement. Megan's extension program, AIS Detectors, creates volunteer, citizen science, and educational opportunities to empower Minnesotans in protecting the state’s 10,000+ lakes from the impacts of aquatic invasive species. The impacts of these programs can be seen through the nearly 15,000 hours of service in AIS detection, outreach, research, and management completed in just three years by AIS Detectors volunteers. Congrats, Megan!
A key finding: This study suggests that although a cyclic sound has little potential to block all carp species, coupling the sound to an air curtain has much greater potential, but the response is not highly specific.
Tests in a semi-natural environment suggest that bait and switch strategy could be used to control invasive common carp (Hundt, Amber, Sauey, Vacura, and Bajer)
A key finding: Corn might function as a species-specific carp attractant in systems of North american Midewest and that corn-based bait can be used to effectively conceal a lethal dose of ANT-A.
Lessons Learned From the Stakeholder Engagement in Research: Application of Spatial Analytical Tools in One Health Problems (Kanakege, Phelps, Errecaborde, Alvarez, Bender, Wells and Perez)
A key finding: While evidence-based approaches in informing decisions and policy can be a slow-moving process, this adaptive approach of co-creating knowledge is more likely to ensure that research outputs are fit for purpose, acceptable, and valuable for the relevant stakeholders to improve the health of human, animal, and the environment.