BU’s Professor Robert Britton shared insights from his work and research into invasive species and fish ecology during his inaugural lecture.
The lecture – Aquatic invaders: the truth is out there - took place on Brownsea Island, an appropriate setting as the last refuge in the UK for native red squirrels, who are severely affected by a virus carried by North American grey squirrels.
Professor Britton talked about his research into invasive species, which has taken him around the world looking at the effects of non-native species in Europe, North America and Southeast Asia.
He also dispelled some common myths around the introduction and management of non-native species, and explored what – if anything - can be done to minimise their impact after being introduced to native ecosystems.
Professor Britton said: “What we do tend to find is if we introduce 100 species, it may be only 1 per cent or even less of those that actually cause the major damage, so we can be very prioritised within our management.
“We may have very damaging species – such as the grey squirrel, which are all over the UK already, and so there is arguably not a great deal we can do.
“Whereas with a new invader that has been very recently introduced, if we can catch it early enough, we have a real chance to manage and potentially even stop the invasion.”
The lecture was followed by a question and answer session and networking opportunities.
The event was part of the Fusion Inaugural Lecture series, which gives newly-appointed professors the opportunity to share their work and research with staff, students and members of the public.
The next inaugural lecture takes place on Wednesday 18th October at Barclay’s House in Poole. During his lecture The effects of Brexit on the EU, the UK, and Dorset: a migrant’s account, Professor Jens Holscher will discuss the potential economic impact of leaving the European Union.