David M. Lodge
Professor of Biological Sciences
Lab Website: Lodge Lab
As director of the Center for Aquatic Conservation, Professor Lodge facilitates partnerships, educational opportunities, and outreach efforts with resource managers, policy makers, and the public. An ecologist, Lodge’s interest in the natural environment grew from his childhood fascination with the fish, crayfish, insects and other freshwater life of Georgia and Alabama where he grew up. In his current research, Lodge examines the impacts of global environmental changes on drinking water, recreation, fisheries, biodiversity, and other ecosystem goods and services. Much of Lodge's research has a strong focus on ecological forecasting to better inform environmental risk assessment, policy, and management.
One particular area of interest is invasive species, for which Lodge and colleagues are forecasting the spread and impact of zebra mussel and other aquatic invasive species across North America. Lodge and collaborators are measuring and controlling the impact of invasive rusty crayfish in Midwestern lakes using both ship sampling and population modeling to quantify the risk of ship-related releases of invasive species. They are also developing species risk assessment methods, focused initially on fishes, mollusks, and aquatic plants. Lodge directs the 5-year, $3 million NSF-funded ISIS project on Integrated Systems for Invasive Species, which brings economists, mathematicians, and ecologists together to study the impact of invasive species and assess management and policy options to reduce that impact. He also directs a large project on risk analysis of invasive species in the Great Lakes, which is funded by the Great Lakes Protection Fund. Lodge served as the first Chair of the US national Invasive Species Advisory Committee. As part of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment sponsored by the United Nations, Lodge also led global analyses of current and potential future losses of freshwater biodiversity in response to climate change and human consumption of water. Lodge directs the University of Notre Dame's Center for Aquatic Conservation, which includes a partnership with The Nature Conservancy, especially through TNC's Great Lakes Program and the Global Invasive Species Initiative. Lodge is an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow.