A new Web feature describes FORT zoologist Gordon Rodda's illustrious 25-year career researching the ecology and impacts of invasive snake species and developing means of control and containment. Dr. Rodda has been intimately involved in what have proven to be two of the biggest reptile-invasion problems in the U.S. and its territories: the brown treesnake on Guam, and giant constrictor snakes in south Florida. Both cases involved research to discover the extent of the invasion, then begin looking at ways to curtail spread to non-infested areas. Dr. Rodda's work revealed the importance of detectability and prevention, and applied what he and his research colleagues learned about the biology of these snakes to test control and containment methods. In Guam, it became a matter of how best to keep brown treesnakes from stowing away in cargo and inadvertently getting to other Central Pacific islands and the continental U.S. This led not only to containment and trapping methods but also training and implementing a rapid response team to help protect vulnerable islands. In Florida, the work has centered on assessing the risk and potential affects of giant constrictor establishment in Florida and devising ways to prevent the Burmese python and other large constrictors from populating the Florida Keys, where they could prey on several endangered species. Read the full story about Dr. Rodda's contributions to invasive species science at Snakes in the Wrong Places: Gordon Rodda's Career in Invasive Species Research.
For more information contact: Gordon Rodda