Dr. Wersal's Research Projects

I am an aquatic weed scientist with interest in the biology and ecology of both native and invasive aquatic plants, the management of invasive aquatic plants, and the quantitative assessment of aquatic plant communities. Research in my lab is conducted across multiple scales including laboratory, small scale aquaria studies, mesocosm evaluations, and field studies; and includes both vascular aquatic plants and harmful algae/cyanobacteria.

Focus Areas:

  1. Understanding the seasonal life history characteristics of aquatic plants and how to exploit weak points in the life histories of invasive aquatic plants to improve management of these problematic species. Basic research is conducted to understand biomass, carbohydrate, and nutrient resource allocation patterns.
  2. Conducting controlled growth studies whereby different techniques are evaluated to control aquatic plants in order to develop better use patterns for existing methods and to develop new products for use in aquatic plant management.
  3. Utilizing spatial technologies to design and implement large-scale quantitative lake assessment programs. These programs aid state natural resource managers in tracking changes in the plant community over time and allows for rapid assessment of management activities.