Invasive species disrupt the fundamental rules of existence for everything’s else! Dr. Ricciardi

Ok, now it’s Friday after-noon and instead of moving on for the weekend, we have attended to a seminar in the famous Redpath auditorium.  Hard Friday seminar??? Well, not that much since the guest speaker did a terrific job and also, we planned to move to the Thompson house after the seminar!  This Friday seminar was given by Dr. Anthony Ricciardi.  Dr. Riccardi is an associate professor at McGill University.  He wrote many scientific articles related to invasive species and does not hesitate to give his opinion (as an expect) in the community by collaborating in a wide range of medias (radio, newspaper, television).  This is a good way to reach different people with different background and also from different cities, regions, and countries.  The more you talk and write in the media, the more people know about invasive species and therefore, the level of knowledge should increases in the population.  This is a very good strategy to make people more sensitive to environmental issues.

Throughout his presentation, he showed enormous examples of world, continental, regional and local invasions and the impact they have in their new environment.  The reason why the researcher gave so many different examples can be the fact that he wanted to show that invasive species can have an effect on multiple domains and everyone can be affected.  This intention (called “passion”), however, turn me off in couple of times during the presentation because the speed of speaking was really too fast.  I’m sure this was not good to keep the audience’s interest.  However, in order to regain people’s attention, Dr. Ricciardi used several great words and expressions.  One of them has been used to demonstrate how invasive species are damaging.  According to Dr. Riccardi, “Invasive species (e.g. pigs) disrupt the fundamental rules of existence for everything’s else”.  The word “fundamental” and “disrupt” should bring bells and everyone must then pay attention to that because disrupting fundamental interacts will not only affect small little things that we do not really care about but will affect the roots of our own society.  For example, invasive species are capable to cause nuclear power plant breakdown (zebra mussels) and increase the risk of malaria outbreak (pigs dig holes that favour mosquitoes’ life cycle).  Finally, Dr. Ricciardi concluded by suggesting four mains Global Changes that favour the establishment of invasive species; the raising CO2, raising temperature, landscape alteration, and N-pollution. 

How much we need to know about invasive species?  Well, this is still a hard question to answer, but I think the level of knowledge will be determined when people will realize how drastic our environment is changing and how this change will affect us.  In order to realize this Global Change, information must be accessible, understandable and in high quality.  Dr. Ricciardi is a good example because he does not rely only on scientific journals.

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3 Responses to “Invasive species disrupt the fundamental rules of existence for everything’s else! Dr. Ricciardi”

  1. patagonia says:

    I really enjoyed your posting, especially the fist paragraph explaining the importance of media attention; it is something I hadnt thought of but is so true. costs, I can and must be presented in such a way that various aspects of the issue are highlighted that will trigger individuals various interests; ie. costs, enviornmental damage, health risks, agricultural damage. Another crucial and wonderful point you raised was that of how much we, the public need to know about species invasion. This issue was indirectly adressed during the lecuture and related to media attention; there is a lack of public awareness about the Canadian body that works to protect Canada from species invasions. It is not essential that the public/voters graspe the science behind species invasions, but they must know the treat is there. Furthermore, voters must be informed that the Food Agency of Canada to is Canadians first front againt invasive species is underpaid, overworked and understaffed; we have an election coming up but did anyone hear this issue on the candidates agendas?

  2. totunroz says:

    There were actually 5 components of global change that favor the spread of invasive species. The one left out was overharvesting. It’s the perfect example of acting without thinking. We find something good for us, we move to exploit, it oblivious of the fact that it won’t last forever.

  3. Thank for the comment Totunroz but I was referring to his last slide of the presentation where only 4 components where described!