Ulrich Reinhardt’s Research Page
In recent years, I have focused on the study of invasive fish species. Fish that are not native to the Great Lakes and cause ecological or economic damage are considered “invasives” or “aquatic nuisance species”. My students and I have studied the behavior of several of those invaders, namely the Eurasian ruffe, the sea lamprey and the bighead carp (see link above to the graduate students for details). Lab and field studies are typically undertaken and collaboration with researchers from other institutions (e.g. Guelph University in Ontario) is common. The ultimate goal of my research is almost always to make the findings applicable to the management of the species; e.g. in the bighead carp study we asked how much time remains for managers to stop the carp before they reach the Great Lakes? In the lamprey studies, we are trying to improve the design of in-stream lamprey traps and barriers. The field research continues in the summer of 2012 and 2013 with studies on selective sea lamprey traps.
Left: head of an adult sea lamprey attached to a smooth surface. Right: Sea lamprey mouth attached to Plexiglas surface. The experimental apparatus is designed to measure the suction pressure of the mouth. (Photo by Robert Adams)
Left: close-up of the fringe of “fimbriae” around the mouth of the lamprey. These hand-like frilly appendages help the lamprey to make a tight seal even against rough surfaces like concrete. Right: Scanning electron micrograph of the fimbriae. (Photo by Robert Adams)
Since 2002, I have taken students from EMU and other universities on annual field classes to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands (see www.emich.edu/abroad for current offerings). In 2005 and 2006 those students had the opportunity to participate in a conservation research project that I have planned and carried out in collaboration with the Charles Darwin Research Station on Galapagos. See http://www.earthwatch.org/expeditions/reinhardt.html for details. We took on the task to research the best way to combat invasive plant species in a unique forest ecosystem. My involvement with this project ended in 2006, but the research and struggle to remove weeds from Galapagos is continuing through the work of the Darwin Station (http://www.darwinfoundation.org/). We are also continuing to visit Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands every two years as a study abroad class.
Left: Uli Reinhardt and graduate student Jen Young at work in the Scalesia forest on Galapagos. Right: EMU students observing giant tortoise in the wild.
C) A New Program is born! Stand by for information abou the new IESS program at EMU. See www.emich.edu/iess