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.
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