We are interested in a broad variety of questions pertaining to invasion biology, particularly with respect to aquatic ecosystems (inland lakes, Great Lakes, marine coastal habitats). While most of our tests are based on aquatic organisms, we occasionally stray from this model and utilize terrestrial taxa or systems (beetles, birds). Our questions range from fundamental question such as what determinants affect species invasion patterns in general, to more applied topics such as how can we best prevent ship-mediated invasions of the Great Lakes or spread of species to inland lakes.
Our fundamental work is important because a large array of factors act individually or in unison to influence invasion success, and many early studies that addressed determinants of invasion success (particularly the concept made popular in Elton's book during the 1950s) are potentially confounded by factors, including propagule pressure. Invasion biology is today providing excellent models that can be tested experimentally (e.g. invasional meltdown, enemy release hypothesis), and studies of lakes are particularly important to this effort since they have clearly defined borders, variable environmental states, and readily measured vectors.