I worked for a number of years at the Western Australian Museum documenting the marine fauna of this vast state. We occasionally came across species that had been clearly introduced. In the 1980s, the mussel Musculista senhousia became invasive in the Swan River, right on Perth’s doorstep. This sparked my interest.
Yes. The finding of M. senhousia in vast numbers 35 years ago was then a scientific novelty. Now there is an agency with responsibility to deal with these issues. Just today I received an alert from them that a single crab on the Australian national marine pest list had been found in the same Swan River. There have been several crabs found in the last 5 years and intense surveys to search for the crabs.
My field is essentially marine. There are numerous studies using port matching of physical factors such as temperature and salinity to predict which ports have the greatest risk of IAS introductions. There is a growing dataset that indicates that biological factors may be more important. For example, the port of Singapore was rated at considerable risk of IAS, but has few introduced species and only two mussels are considered invasive. We need to document this pattern and determine the causal factors.
Definitely. I started working in Thailand in the late 1990s. Their literature resources were poor. If you loaned a book or paper to a colleague the next day there would be multiple black and white photocopies, even if the original was in color. Now with the internet much more information is readily available. However, papers in many journals are available only at a cost that is beyond the means of many researchers throughout the world. Open access journals such as Aquatic Invasions provide critical information to people worldwide for free.
Working with researchers throughout the world and learning new aspects of IAS, particularly freshwater species, from them. While at times frustrating, it is very rewarding to help researchers from non-English speaking backgrounds get their work published.