As long as humans have been migrating around the globe, we’ve been bringing other organisms along for the ride and introducing them to new areas. As the pace of our commerce and travel have increased, the rate at which new species are introduced to new areas has likewise increased. While the vast majority of introduced species are harmless, a few troublemakers become established, spread, and ultimately cause ecological or economic harm (or both). With kudzu as a poster child for invasive plants, Georgia is no stranger to the harmful impacts of invasive species. We'll find out about some of Georgia’s existing invasive species, as well as species that could become problematic here in the future. We'll also hear about how invasive species are controlled, and how individuals can help to prevent the spread of invasive species in their area.
Mattias Johansson, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Marine Biology at UNG Gainesville. He earned his PhD from Oregon State University and did postdoctoral research at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and University of Windsor, Ontario. His research focuses on using genetic tools to understand the distribution of organisms across the landscape. He has worked on organisms as varied as microbes, fish, giant kelp, and zebra mussels (not zebras, sadly). He is currently exploring research opportunities in Northeast Georgia and beyond with several undergraduate research assistants.