Spread of zebra mussels causing
By Danielle Portteus
Central Michigan Life
University of Toledo Professor Christine Mayer spoke
about her research of freshwater lakes including Lake
Ontario and Lake Erie and how benthification, or bottom
feeding, effects the aquatic life of the area.
"Zebra mussels were introduced to the Great Lakes
in 1992 and have caused changes in the plant life,"
said Mayer, an assistant professor of earth, environmental
and ecological studies at Toledo.
"The exotic species, like zebra mussels, are being
transported into the lakes from Europe by boats and the
problem is not going away," she said.
Mayer’s project includes studies from Cornell University
and Syracuse University as well as data from scientists
around the world.
She believes that her research is important to share
with colleagues because it can influence them to join
her in her research.
"I can also spark interest among graduate students
and have them come to Toledo to participate in my research,"
Mayer did peak student interest with her research findings.
Jackson freshman Kristen Shannon was impressed with her
research and presentation.
"The information was very good, despite my not understanding
of it all," Shannon said. "I liked how she talked
about the changes involving the different underwater species."
Mayer plans to continue her work intensively over the
summer on the west side of Lake Erie at the Lake Erie
Center, which is an extension of the University of Toledo’s
campus in Ohio’s Maumee Bay State Park.
The seminar was in conjunction with the biology department
seminars which are held at 4 p.m. every Thursday in Brooks
Hall Room 176.
"The seminars are a way of trying to expose faculty
and students to outside scientific research," said
Brad Swanson, assistant professor of Biology.