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Invasive Species: Mitigating a Global Threat to Health, economic, and environmental security

PI: Jacob Barney, Professor, School of Plant and Environmental Sciences

Co-PIs: Bryan Brown, Joe Drake, Luis Escobar, David Haak, Meryl Mims, Emily Reed, Haldre Rogers, Scott Salom, Mike Sorice, Todd Schenk

The Invasive Species Working Group seeks to advance a promising future for invasive species scholarship at Virginia Tech that will:

  1. Connect faculty to an existing network of scholars and framework for internal support.
  2. Create opportunities for large extramural support (e.g., USDA, NSF, DOD, NIH).
  3. Translate opportunities through Extension and outreach.
  4. Generate new transdisciplinary curricular offerings that are poised within existing Beyond Boundaries initiatives.

While across the U.S. there are scattered researchers and university units thematically related to invasive species, there is a major gap the working group proposes to fill that would position Virginia Tech as an international ‘center of excellence’. The group’s collective efforts will allow Virginia Tech to build capacity, extend connections to additional initiatives on campus, and work towards positioning the university as a leader in this critical area.

The Invasive Species Working Group’s long-term goal is to benefit the citizens of Virginia, the U.S., and the world; attract significant extramural funding; build partnerships; and ultimately develop better strategies to mitigate the global threat of biological invasions.