Dr. Frances Lucy

Project Title: Assessment and utilisation of Zequanox™ for Zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) control in Irish waters                                                                                       

Supervisor: Dr. Frances Lucy

Funding Body: IT Sligo President’s Bursary Awards

Description of the project

Since the arrival of the zebra mussels to Ireland in the early 1990’s, there has been a rapid spread of large populations of the highly invasive zebra mussel within Irish lake waters.  High densities (up to 120,000 m2) and biomass (≤ 5kg m2) of zebra mussels have resulted in direct invasive impacts in infested lakes, both to the freshwater biota and man. The availability of an effective, yet environmentally benign, mussel control method to replace chlorine and other biocides is critically needed by drinking water plants and other infested facilities. In terms of lake biology, the most notable impact involves the extirpation of the native Anodonta mussel typically within four years of zebra mussel colonisation.

This PhD involves innovative scientific trials for zebra mussel control using ZequanoxTM, a specific biologically friendly biocontrol agent (www.marronebioinnovations.com). It will employ cutting-edge applied research, which will be beneficial both to industry and conservation management in an international context. Marrone Bio-Innovations (MBI), the USA based commercial developer of this mussel control product will provide additional funding and support for this PhD.