Invasive Species in the Great Lakes: A Brief History of the World's Most Invaded Freshwater System

April 21st,2023 | 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Professor/Instructor/Speaker: James Grazio,Ph.D.

Invasive Species in the Great Lakes: A Brief History of the World's Most Invaded Freshwater System


The history of biological invasions in the North American Great Lakes basin spans two centuries and involves multiple vectors of spread including shipping, canals, aquarium release, bait release, aquaculture escapes, and intentional stocking. More than 180 non-native species have become established in the basin since the arrival of European settlers. The vast majority have little or no known adverse impacts. A subset of these non-native species known as Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS), however, have had adverse effects on the ecology and economy of the region, and some of these problems have been profound. Dr. Jim Grazio, Ph.D., has worked as Pennsylvania's Great Lakes Biologist for most of his career and has a unique first-hand knowledge of the problems caused by invasive species in the Pennsylvania waters of Lake Erie. Jim's presentation will cover the history of biological invasions in the Great Lakes, highlighting some of the most interesting and destructive invaders. Jim will also discuss ongoing challenges and opportunities related to AIS management in one of the world's most valuable freshwater ecosystems. 

*Please note: the lecture is free, but we ask you to register 24 hours before the event if you are purchasing a lunch. There will not be extras available for purchase at the lecture. You are welcome to bring your own lunch as well. Thank you for understanding! 


Location: Jefferson Educational Society - 3207 State Street, Erie, PA 16508

Date/Time: Friday, April 21 at Noon

Admission: FREE, optional $5 lunch (must pre-register 24 hours in advance)

Parkinglot behind building, State Street, 33rd Street, 32nd Street, French Street

James Grazio,Ph.D.

Dr. Jim Grazio serves as the Great Lakes Biologist for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection based out of the Tom Ridge Environmental Center here in Erie.  In this capacity he provides scientific support to the agency on a wide variety of topics related to the environmental health of Presque Isle Bay and Lake Erie.  Over the course of his career Jim has a developed a particular interest in Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS).  He currently represents his agency on a number of state, regional, and binational management committees related to this topic and has served as the past Chair of the Great Lakes Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species.  Jim is also an adjunct member of the School of Science at Penn State Behrend and currently co-teaches the capstone course in the Environmental Science major.