Next week, on March 11th, we celebrate the masters defense of Strecker Lab member Sam Cimino! Sam’s thesis — entitled: An investigation of invasion: Boater knowledge concerning aquatic invasive species and the influence of the New Zealand mud snail on benthic food webs — takes a look into the social and ecological aspects of aquatic invasive species (AIS) in Oregon’s estuaries and coastal freshwater lakes and rivers. Specifically, Sam’s project focuses on the New Zealand mud snail .
His first chapter provides an assessment of boater behavior. He documents factors such as: how much boaters know about invasive species and AIS policies, what percentage of boaters wash their vessels, and how likely they are to use voluntary boat wash stations. His findings help gain some insight into what AIS management techniques may best accompany boater habits, and how NZ mud snails may be spread across Oregon’s water bodies.
Sam’s second chapter investigates the ecosystem characteristics that are associated with NZ mud snails, as well as the effects of the AIS on local communities in lakes, streams, and estuaries. He found that NZ mud snails can withstand a stunning gradient of environmental conditions, and can have wide-ranging effects on the local community’s diversity and function.
If you’re on campus, make sure to stop by his thesis defense to learn more about his work and to show your support! His presentations are especially unique thanks to his skilled artwork — see some samples below.
Friday, March 11th, 2:00pm, SRTC 201
Congrats, and keep it cool, Sam