Please join the Notre Dame Environmental Change Initiative for a virtual seminar presented by Jeffery A. Steevens, Research Toxicologist with the US Geological Survey at the Columbia Environmental Research Center.
The title of his talk is "Linking Mussel Habitat Conditions to Restoration Outcomes and Ecosystem Services."
Abstract: Native freshwater mussels are among the most imperiled taxa in North America. Once prevalent on the landscape anthropogenic stressors such as habitat alteration, contaminants, and climate change have led to steep population declines. Such declines have altered habitat functionality through the loss of ecosystem services they provide such as water quality improvements, sequestration/processing of nutrients, stream stability and diverse food web structure. Our project is designed to restore mussel assemblages and their ecosystem services, as well as provide systematic habitat assessments for locations of variable land usage. Two distinctly different watersheds within the Lake Erie basin were chosen as pilot locations with varying water quality issues as indicated by associated AOCs and supported historically diverse mussel communities: Michigan watersheds such as the Clinton River (suburban/urban) watershed & St. Clair River Watershed (agricultural). We seek to re-establish diverse representative mussel assemblages and evaluate the resulting impacts to water quality and increased macroinvertebrate diversity. More information about the project can be found here: https://www.usgs.gov/centers/columbia-environmental-research-center/science/linking-mussel-habitat-conditions
Bio: Jeff Steevens is a Toxicologist with the US Geological Survey at the Columbia Environmental Research Center in Columbia, MO. He currently leads the Toxicology Branch focusing on the bioavailability and toxicity of environmental contaminants in water and sediments. His research is currently focusing on the effects of contaminants on freshwater mussels and other invertebrates. He leads the USGS per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) science team and directs research focusing on the bioaccumulation and toxicity of PFAS in aquatic systems. Jeff serves as a technical expert for several Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration (NRDAR) projects and Superfund sites.