Bacon and Eggheads

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This flagship series brings together Parliamentarians with experts in science and engineering, showcasing outstanding Canadian research accomplishments. Its purpose is to provide unbiased insight into topical scientific issues, within a non-partisan forum. This prestigious forum represents a unique opportunity for scientists to communicate important findings to a distinguished and influential audience.

The series is organized by PAGSE, an umbrella group of 25 + science and engineering organizations operating under the auspices of the Royal Society, and is supported by NSERC.

Invasive species:
coming soon to a lake near you


Hugh MacIsaac
Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research, University of Windsor

Canada has sustained dramatic damage resulting from the introduction of invasive species such as the SARS virus, emerald ash boring beetle, and infectious salmon anemia. Our lakes, too, are especially vulnerable to new introductions – the waters between southern Lake Huron and western Lake Erie being one of the country’s invasion “hotspots.”

Hugh MacIsaac is looking at the many factors that bring unwanted species into the Great Lakes, and from there to inland lakes, where they pose a major threat to biodiversity. Of particular interest to him are the encysted “resting” eggs of invertebrates carried in ballast tanks of transoceanic ships. The spiny waterflea, for example, invaded the Great Lakes from the Baltic Sea in 1982, and is now spreading rapidly to lakes in Ontario. By tracking the human role in dispersal, researchers can predict which lakes are vulnerable to invasion, and those that will serve as reservoirs for future invasions.

Hugh MacIsaac is a professor in the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research, University of Windsor, and holds the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Invasion Biology Research Chair. He has published extensively on invasive species and speaks regularly on this topic at national and international scientific meetings.

Simultaneous translation will be provided.

--the Speaker of the Senate, the Hon. Daniel Hays
--the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Hon. Peter Milliken
--Partnership Group for Science and Engineering (PAGSE)

DATE: Thursday, May 13, 2004 from 7:30 am - 9:00 am