R/IS-08 A


Research and outreach to prevent and control aquatic nuisance species invasions: Presence, dynamics, and fate of pathogenic microorganisms in ballast water and ballast water microcosms (Maryland component)

Principal Investigator:

Gregory M. Ruiz

Start/End Year:

1999 - 2002


Smithsonian Environmental Research Center


The proposed research will (a) evaluate the frequency of transfer for microorganisms that are serious pathogens of humans and commercial fishery species and (b) assess the potential significance of ballast-mediated transfer in the epidemiology of infectious diseases. This work is critical in identifying the risks associated with ballast water transfer, providing key data for developing necessary management strategies for organisms of particular concern. Results from this research will be published in peer-reviewed international journals and presented to scientific and management communities. The data resulting from this project are especially relevant and timely to the national and international efforts to limit the risk of ballast-mediated transfer and invasion. As the importance of ballast water in transfer of microorganisms is virtually unexplored, we anticipate our results will receive widespread interest and use by regional, national, and international groups of natural resource management agencies, policy makers, and scientists involved in the areas of invasion biology and infectious waterborne diseases.

Related Publications:

Drake, LA; Doblin, MA; Dobbs, FC. 2007. Potential microbial bioinvasions via ships' ballast water, sediment, and biofilm. Marine Pollution Bulletin55:333 -341. doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2006.11.007. UM-SG-RS-2007-29.

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