For billions of years, the opportunity for species to interact depended upon a few finite variables: their own faculties, geologic & climatic change and chance.
With the onset of human civilization, another variable was inserted into this equation. As continents were discovered and settled, those organisms encountered along the way were introduced to new lands both intentionally and inadvertently.
In novel areas without co-evolved predators, herbivores or limiting pathogens, organisms were more freely able to spread and multiply, possibly out-competing native species. Classic examples of invasive species include the Norwegian Rat, Dutch Elm Disease, and the Cane Toad.
As global travel and trade grow and continue to accelerate, the number of pathways for the spread of invasive species grow as well. Invasive species can affect ecosystems in an irreversible way and cost billions of dollars to manage.
With a unique location in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, nestled between two Great Lakes and bordered by another nation, Algoma University tasked itself in 2008 with becoming a world-class centre for the study of Invasive Species.
Borrowing skills and expertise from the fields of botany, ecology and soil science the Invasive Species Research Institute (ISRI) is a leader in discovery related to invasive species, their spread and the consequences of introductions. As such, ISRI has served as a founder and has been named the first Canadian hub in the North American Invasive Species Network (NAISN).
Dr. Pedro Antunes was named to the position of ISRI Scientific Director in 2010, and along with the contribution of an OMNR research chair in invasive species, Dr. Antunes brings over a decade of experience to the institute.
Narrowing the research focus of the institute primarily to the spread and effect of invasive plant species, ISRI continues to innovate in an area which has received little scientific attention until recently.
Please take time to explore our site and please contact us if you have any questions or comments.