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Invasive species are a serious challenge from  local to global levels, threatening economic, environmental, and human health. Current approaches to tackling invasive species predominantly focus on individual species isolated by taxonomic and geographic boundaries, rather than holistically approaching this as a socio-ecological issue. Traditionally siloed approaches struggle to link academic research to on-the-ground policy and management.

The ISWG nurtures transdisciplinary collaborations and partnerships with government agencies, NGOs, industry, and communities to promote a deep understanding of the impacts of invasive species on ecosystems and society, and foster an inclusive environment where science and policy meet to tackle this global challenge.

graphic by Dr. Barney


What are invasive species?

 Defined as non-native species that are problematic

All invasive species are non-native, but not all non-native species are invasive

"Invasive" is defined by people, not by biology 

Why care about invasive species?


Estimated global costs /year = $162.7 billion (2017)

• Estimated costs to US economy /year = $21 billion

Estimated costs to Virginia economy /year = $1 billion



Extirpation of native biodiversity

 Reduction in ecosystem services

How do we attempt to stop or slow invasive species?

 Prevention of introduction


 Direct physical control and removal


 Introduction of genetically manipulated non-viable individuals

How do we support interdisciplinary research?

Investing in Experts

 Meet our postdoctoral associate – Dr. Emily Reed


Dr. Emily Reed conducts interdisciplinary, collaborative research on invasive species at science-policy interface as the ISWG’s Postdoctoral Researcher.  She also develops capacity of the ISWG by building stakeholder networks, leading research and outreach projects, and strengthening existing skills and connections.  Additional contributions by Dr. Reed include facilitating meetings and seminars related to invasion science.

Emily is broadly interested in the effects of global land-use and climate change on the ecology and evolution of invasive species and how to leverage that knowledge to make informed, adaptive management decisions at different spatial and geopolitical scales. Emily received her PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from North Carolina State University in 2021. Her dissertation research focused on the population andlandscape genetics of an anthropophilic invasive mosquito, Aedes albopictus. She has a strong interest in science communication and enjoys exploring ways to use unconventional media to engage audiences. Emily is excited to work across fields and departments on interdisciplinary research related to invasive species, and invites anyone curious or interested in the ISWG to get in touch!

Emily's CV

Explore ISWG