Summer Course on Invasion Biology at Friday Harbor Laboratories

July 17 – August 18, 2017 (5 weeks) Instructors:

Dr. Daniel Simberloff

Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

University of Tennessee

Dr. Christy Leppanen

Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

University of Tennessee

Thousands of species of plants, animals, fungi, and microbes have been

transported by humans to new locations. Yes, without human assistance,

species have always managed to spread, but much less often, much more

slowly, and not nearly so far. This geographic rearrangement of the earth=


biota is one of the great global changes now underway. Although many

introduced species fail to establish populations or remain restricted to =


immediate vicinity of the new sites they land in, other species establish=

populations and invade new habitats, spreading widely and sometimes well

beyond the initial point of introduction.

Many invasions have such idiosyncratic and bizarre effects that they cann=


fail to arouse our curiosity simply as fascinating tales of natural histo=


For example, who would have thought that=85

=95 Introducing kokanee salmon to Flathead Lake, Montana, and many years

later, opossum shrimp to three nearby lakes would ultimately have led to

population crashes of grizzly bears and bald eagles through a complicated=

chain reaction? =95 Introducing myxoma virus to Great Britain to control introduced rabbi=


populations would have led to the extinction of the large blue butterfly =

there? =95 Introducing a particular grass species would lead to hybridization wi=

th a

native congener, subsequent polyploidization, and the origin of a new

vigorous invasive species that would change entire intertidal systems?

Teasing apart such intriguing causal chains is a scientific accomplishmen=


of the first order. The variety and idiosyncrasy of effects challenges

biologists to produce general laws or rules to be able to explain why som=


introductions have no major impacts, while others lead to huge invasions.=

Being able to predict which species will fall in the latter category if

introduced, and which in the former, is the elusive holy grail of invasio=



Schedule: Class meets daily, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. Some Saturday activities=

may be planned to accommodate fieldwork. Lectures/discussions/debates,

laboratory/field work, and individual/group activities will each comprise=

approximately 1/3 of the course meeting time, with the percentage of lect=


decreasing and discussions and practical activities increasing as the cou=



Application Web Site:

Although the deadline has passed, applications will be accepted for the n=


three weeks

Financial Aid Available

For more information contact the instructors or Dr. Megan Dethier, Friday=

Harbor Laboratories