Virgin River Gorge

The RIVRLab (Riparian InVasion Research Laboratory) is dedicated to understanding the impacts of non-native species in riparian and aquatic ecosystems, developing methods for their management, and restoring native biodiversity and ecosystem function in western riparian habitats. more >>

About Us

Our research addresses the effects of non-native species in riparian and stream ecosystems, particularly in western North America. We seek to understand the process of species invasions and how they alter biodiversity and ecosystem functions, but we also develop methods to better manage pest species and to restore native communities. Current projects concern a variety of non-native organisms, including giant reed (Arundo donax), tamarisk or saltcedar (Tamarix spp.), Cape ivy (Delairea odorata) and other riparian weeds, as well as non-native animals such as the New Zealand mud snail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum), African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) and crayfish and soon we anticipate expanding to cover quagga and zebra mussels (Dreissena spp.) that threaten western waterways.

A major focus of our research is on biological control, including classical biocontrol using introduced natural enemies of the target species as well as augmentative biocontrol with consumers already established in North America, to suppress environmental weeds and other pest organisms.