June 2016 Letter from the Director
Dear friends -
As you may already know, I am soon passing the baton of MAISRC leadership to Dr. Nicholas Phelps, currently a faculty member with the Center. I will be returning to my position as a professor, researcher, and head of the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology, and I look forward to helping Dr. Phelps with the transition.
It has been an honor to serve as director of the Center for the last two years. In addition to overseeing 21 unique research projects covering 10 different aquatic invasive species, I've had the pleasure of implementing a systematic research needs assessment process to prioritize research investments with input from stakeholders; creating a new full-time, tenure-track research and outreach position; launching several new collaborations with the Minnesota DNR, Sea Grant, and others; and leading the creation of a ten-year strategic plan. And to top this all off, I'm excited today to announce several new research projects that the Center is launching this summer! These include:
- Evaluating four zebra mussel controls and developing protocols for their use on new, localized infestations
- Characterizing long-term spiny waterflea ecosystem impacts using soil sediments
- Risk assessment, control, and restoration research on starry stonewort, Eurasian watermilfoil, curly leaf pondweed, and hydrilla
- Lake-scale prediction of invasion, survivability, and effects of various management interventions on the spread of three AIS in Minnesota
- Partnering with the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District and Hennepin County to evaluate the potential for larger scale treatment of veliger-infested waters
Look for more detail on these projects in this and upcoming newsletters.
In order to do all that I can to ensure continuity with research, there will be an approximate year-long transition period during which Dr. Phelps and I will serve as co-directors. Dr. Phelps has great energy and enthusiasm for the work that needs to be done to find solutions to AIS problems in Minnesota. He currently has several research projects underway with the Center that address a range of issues including Asian carp biocontrol, threats to gamefish by harmful viruses, invasiveness of starry stonewort, and predicting zebra mussel spread using boater movement and other risk factors.
Please join me in welcoming Dr. Phelps to his new position, and thank you for your support of the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center during my tenure.
Dr. Susan Galatowitsch
Director, Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center
Head, Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology