Department of Geography and the Environment

Colloquium: Dr. Robin Doughty

Fri, November 1, 2013 | CLA 0.128

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Colloquium: Dr. Robin Doughty

The Department of Geography and the Environment is pleased to present Dr. Robin Doughty for our Fall 2013 Colloquium series presenting on Biosecurity: Invasive Animals in a Changing World. This event is free and open to the public. For more information call (512)232-1595 or email Madeline Enos at


Biosecurity: How Invasive Species Are Affecting How We Live And What We Do

Agricultural Revolution accelerated the spread of plants and animals when people collected and domesticated useful organisms, and transported and planted them in places removed from native habitats. The modern era of exploration and empire accelerated this spread of non-native species across the face of the earth.

Today, there is growing evidence that upwards of 100 non-native organisms that experts characterized as invasive have measurable economic, public health and ecological impacts in the places where they flourish. Governments across the world are collaborating more closely in order to identify these species, estimate their numbers, and move to control and eradicate them.  However, given the ease and frequency of transportation, officials face significant hurdles in dealing with this issue.

This collaborative strategy differs from earlier policies that regarded non-native species as beneficial and a means of “improving” the ecological fabric of colonial holdings, such as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Early European settlers actively encouraged the entry and spread of non-native plants and animals.

This lecture explores our attitudes toward establishing new organisms (mostly European) into distant places. It identifies the characteristics that make some species invasive, and discusses the pathways that facilitate entry and spread and the programs that aim to control them. 

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