Thousands of species hitchhike in the ballast water of ships and on a ship’s hull and other exposed surfaces, and many are taking up residence in areas where they previously have not lived. Scientists, engineers, and economists have joined together to learn more about this problem of these species migrating around the globe.
Travis Warziniack, a Research Economist at RMRS, is working to build a global model of trade that will be paired with ecological models of habitat suitability and projections of future climate conditions to predict future sources of invasive species and to identify at-risk aquatic ecosystems. Working with ship operators and policymakers, they will improve practices and policies to reduce unwanted species invasions.
The National Science Foundation awarded a team of researchers - including an RMRS scientist and the University of Notre Dame - nearly $2 million, to study the movement of harmful species around the globe by traveling on ships.