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Avian Botulism in Lake Michigan: How Does it Happen? Dr. Harvey Bootsma (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
Over the past decade, there has been an increased incidence of bird deaths in Lake Michigan due to Type E avian botulism. Much of these deaths have occurred in the northern part of the lake, including the waters around Sleeping Bear Dunes. Scientists from the National Park Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee have been conducting a collaborative research project to determine the causes of these botulism outbreaks. In this presentation, I will discuss our findings to date, which suggest that botulism outbreaks are the results of changes in nutrient dynamics and food web structure, ultimately linked to the invasion of the lake by quagga mussels and the round goby.
Harvey Bootsma is an Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology from the University of Guelph (Canada) in 1985, and his Ph.D. from the University of Manitoba in 1993, after which he conducted post-doctoral research at the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He has conducted research on large lakes around the world, including the North American Great Lakes, lakes in South America, and the Great Lakes of East Africa, where he and his family lived for seven years. His work focuses on the interactions among physical, chemical and biological properties of large lakes. Current research projects include the causes and consequences of nuisance algal growth in Lake Michigan, energy flow in large temperate and tropical lakes, and the influence of non-indigenous species on nutrient cycles and food web structure in Lake Michigan.
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service and highlight the value of national parks as our nation’s “living laboratories,” Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (National Lakeshore) is hosting a monthly series of public talks by park researchers called “Research Rendezvous.” This program, which will continue through 2016, will provide an opportunity to learn about the diversity of scientific investigations occurring in or near the National Lakeshore.
Location: Philip A. Hart Visitor Center in Empire
Time: 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Fee Information: Free
Contact Name: Kevin Skerl
Contact Phone Number: 231-326-4750