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  • Friday, December 4, 2015
  • 1:30 PM–2:30 PM
  • Science Building 010

David Lodge, Ph.D., Professor of Biological Sciences at University of Notre Dame

In a world of increasing temperatures and increasingly globalized economies, more plants and animals are being moved around the planet and finding new habitats. Some of these species, including parasites and pathogens, cause harm and are referred to as invasive species.  Invasive species are one of the top drivers of global environmental change, and cause great harm to biodiversity, ecosystem function and ecosystem services. Reducing the impact of biological invasions will require international cooperation, already outlined in multiple international agreements, informed by recent scientific advances. Examples of scientific advances that can serve policy goals include: risk assessment of species that can inform decisions about species importation; genetic based surveillance programs that can inform rapid response to incipient invasions; analysis of transportation networks that respond to climate change and trade patterns, and that can be used to prioritize the geographic focus of slow-the-spread efforts; species distribution models incorporating climate change; and bioeconomic analyses that can guide allocation of resources.  A major conclusion of recent research is that a greater policy emphasis on preventing invasions—rather than trying to control outbreaks and epidemics after they get started--would bring the greatest societal return on investment.

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