Skip to main content
invasive species

New expert group to address potential threat from invasive species impacting marine ecosystems

Invasive speces - both plants and animals - can pose a serious threat to biodiversity, UN states. As a response, a group of SDU researchers now form an expert group.   

By Birgitte Svennevig, , 9/7/2023

In response to recent findings from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the University of Southern Denmark , in partnership with the SDU Climate Cluster, introduces the formation of an expert group focused on addressing the pressing and intricate issue of invasive alien species.

This expert group is dedicated to confronting the potential threat posed by invasive alien species to our marine ecosystems.

Our oceans are not only rich in biological diversity but also play a vital role in global sustainability, serving as natural buffers against climate change and supporting the livelihoods of millions. Yet, these ecosystems face an ongoing threat from invasive species, disrupting their delicate balance and potentially jeopardizing biodiversity.

UNs report on invasive species 

  • More than  3,500 invasive animals, plants and other organisms pose a threat to Earths biodiversity, our ecosystems and society.   

  • 45% of the world's countries do not invest i management of invasive species. 

  • Read the report here.

One notable example is the invasive comb jelly, Mnemiopsis leidyi, which invaded the Baltic Southwest and Danish waters in 2006 (top photo).

- Our ongoing research indicates that this species could potentially threaten fish populations, particularly affecting the vulnerable larval stages of herrings, especially under the ongoing scenarios of climate change, says group member and marine biologist, Jamileh Javidpour.

Under the auspices of SDU, the expert group assembles a diverse and multidisciplinary team of researchers and practitioners.

- Our mission is to conduct in-depth research and provide guidance on the scientific, social, legal, and economic aspects of marine invasive species such as Mnemiopsis leidyi. We are committed to developing actionable strategies not only to mitigate the potential impact of these species but also to safeguard marine biodiversity and the well-being of coastal communities, says Jamileh Javidpour.

Proposed research and advisory activities of the expert group:

  • Scientific Research: Conduct and advise comprehensive studies to understand the biology, impact and spread of invasive species.

  • Policy Advocacy: Develop and advise evidence-based policy recommendations for local, national and international  bodies to control and manage invasive species.

  • Community Outreach: Engage with local communities through educational programmes, workshops, and citizen science projects to raise awareness and gather data.

  • Technology Development: Explore and implement innovative technologies and offer advice on early detection and eradication of invasive species.

  • Collaborative Partnerships: Forge collaborations with governmental agencies, NGOs, and other academic institutions for a multifaceted approach to this issue.

  • Monitoring and Evaluation: Regularly assess the effectiveness of implemented strategies and make data-driven adjustments as necessary.

– By combining research, policy and community engagement, our aim is to establish a robust framework for addressing the challenges posed by potential marine invasive species. Together, we can make a significant difference in protecting our marine ecosystems for future generations, says Jamileh Javidpour.

Members of the expert group

Kristina Siig, professor wsr and an expert in maritime law, Department of Law. Contact. 

Bent-Ole Gram Mortensen, professor of environmental and energy law,  Department of Law. Contact.

Brooks Kaiser, professor and an expert in Environmental and Resource Economics, Department of Sociology, Environmental and Business Economics og SDU Climate Cluster. Contact. 

Owen Jones, associate professor and an expert in  plant and animal dynamics, Department of Biology and SDU Climate Cluster. Contact.

Henrik Holbech, associate professor and an expert in ecotoxicology, Department of Biology. Contact. 

Jamileh Javidpour, associate professor and an expert in marine biology, Department of Biology and SDU Climate Cluster. Contact.

Editing was completed: 07.09.2023