Humans are now moving around the world at a fantastic rate, carrying plants and bugs and diseases which have been trapped on separate continents for millions of years. The organisms we transport are changing our world - Sudden Oak Death and other pathogens are eliminating forests, human pandemics are shaking national economies, and invasive plants are homogenizing natural communities.
There are striking parallels between these biological invasions and the 19th-century human disease outbreaks which spurred the science of epidemiology. Thankfully, solutions to our invasion crisis are as clear and simple as those early public health solutions.
Daniel Gluesenkamp delivers an overview of this exciting stage in Earth's evolution, reviews solutions to this challenge, and presents examples of recent efforts to clean up our act.
Dan Gluesenkamp is the Habitat Protection and Restoration Specialist for Audubon Canyon Ranch and leads in the development, implementation, and evaluation of conservation and restoration projects at ACR preserves.
His work involves experimental evaluation of management techniques, oversight of stewardship activities such as control of invasive alien species, and collaboration with neighboring land owners and agencies to protect ACR lands. Gluesenkamp's research focuses on the factors structuring plant communities, particularly as related to the invasion and spread of introduced species, with work in habitats ranging from desert riparian zones to subalpine Sierran meadows.
Gluesenkamp earned his Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley with research that revealed how populations of native and alien thistles are shaped by plant competition, by insect herbivory, and by effects of habitat productivity on the relative intensity of competition versus herbivory.