Marine Invasive Species

Course Dates

June 27, 2022 to July 11, 2022


Prerequisites: One semester of college biology or equivalent; or by permission of instructors. One semester of ecology preferred, but not required.

Course Description

An assortment of invasive crabs in a trayThe course will explore invasive species including class lectures, paper discussions, species profiles, field observations, and guided and open inquiries. Major assignments/assessments will include student-led paper discussions, an invasive species profile, a guided inquiry report, submission of a vouchered specimen collection, a lab identification practical, a content/concept final exam, and an open inquiry and presentation.

Learning goals and objectives for this course include:

  1. Students will identify taxa of invasive species using scientific keys and descriptions and prepare formal voucher specimens during their guided inquiries.
  2. Students will evaluate the ecological, evolutionary, and management importance of invasive species.
  3. Students will use fundamental principles, concepts, and theories in invasion biology in discussions of primary literature.
  4. Students will pose original research questions and test fundamental ecological and evolutionary concepts using current scientific literature to develop and hone ideas for student-led open inquiries.
  5. Students will design and carry out original research on the invasive species ecology, evolutionary biology, or management questions they develop for their open inquiries.
  6. Students will organize, synthesize, and effectively communicate the scientific data that they collect during their open inquiry projects.

Many Littorina Littorea snails in a pool of water


Dr. April Blakeslee:

Associate Professor, Biology Department, East Carolina University

Photo of SML Parasite Ecology Intern working in the lab to extract parasites from a green crab

Dr. April Blakeslee is a marine ecologist and conservation biologist, focusing on invasion biology, parasite ecology, evolutionary ecology, and biogeography. As an Associate Professor in the Biology Department at East Carolina University (Greenville, NC), she has developed a diverse research program involving undergraduate and graduate students. She has been researching marine and estuarine invasions for the past 20 years, focusing on resolving invasion histories and introduction vectors using population genetics and parasites, community impacts of free-living and parasitic introductions in invaded habitats, and host and parasite biogeography and phylogeography in native and non-native ranges. She has been performing research at SML on marine invasions, parasites, evolutionary ecology, and species interactions for almost 20 years. Her first experience at SML was as a high school student almost 30 years ago, and she has been returning to the island ever since in various capacities as a student, researcher, mentor, and instructor.

Dr. Amy Fowler:

Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University

Photo of SML Parasite Ecology Intern working in the lab to extract parasites from a green crab

Dr. Fowler’s general research interests and experiences include global aquatic invertebrate species patterns, biodiversity, phenotypic plasticity, parasitology, and community and population level interactions of aquatic invertebrates, especially those concerning invasions. She has experience working in freshwater, estuarine, and marine systems both in the United States and globally. Currently, her laboratory at GMU has three main topics of study: host-parasite interactions, invasion dynamics and processes, and natural resource management of commercially and recreationally important aquatic invertebrate species.

Dr. Carolyn Keogh:

Lecturer, Department of Environmental Science, Emory University

Photo of SML Parasite Ecology Intern working in the lab to extract parasites from a green crab

Dr. Carolyn (Carrie) Keogh is a parasite ecologist interested in parasite distributions and the relationships between host-parasite co-evolution. As a member of the faculty in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Emory University, she teaches courses on a wide range of topics from general ecology and marine ecology as well as a course on invasive species biology. Dr. Keogh brings extensive field experience to her teaching at SML that includes study areas in the intertidal zone across the Mid Atlantic and Gulf of Maine as well as northwestern Pacific Ocean. She first came to Appledore Island as an undergraduate researcher examining host-parasite interactions between Littorina snails and trematode parasites. Most recently, Dr. Keogh was on island in 2019 as one of the lab's Scientists in Residence.



Course Numbers

Cornell: BIOSM 3340 (3 Credits)
UNH: MEFB 720 (4 Credits)