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Great Lakes Article:

Spread of zebra mussels causing aquatic changes
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 said.

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.

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