Over the past few decades, hybrid cattail (Typha x glauca) has become an increasingly common sight across wetlands in the Great Lakes region. Despite its tendency to out-compete native wetland plants, terrestrialize wetlands, and degrade habitats that are vital for birds, insects, amphibians, and spawning fish, hybrid cattail is often overlooked due to the perception that cattails are indicators of a healthy marsh. Our lab at Loyola University Chicago has been studying cattail invasion and novel restoration methods for more than ten years. We are currently conducting large-scale restoration research that investigates the effect mechanical removal of cattail biomass has on plant and animal diversity and nutrient cycling. We are also using multi-spectral drone imagery for early detection of invasive wetland species in Great Lakes coastal wetlands. Through adaptive management incorporates research, outreach, collaboration, and on-the-ground restoration, we are working to improve the health of Great Lakes coastal wetlands.
Brendan Carson, Loyola University Chicago
Brendan Carson grew up roaming the forests and coastlines of the Tipp of the Mitt. Earning a B.S. from the University of Michigan in Ecology and Anthropology and an M.S. in Entomology from Michigan State University, Brendan has a wide range of professional and personal interests. In 2014 he began working as a research associate at the Institute of Environmental Sustainability in Chicago, where he conducts ecological research with a focus on wetland restoration. He is passionate about education, outreach, and stewardship, and in his spare time he enjoys playing the fiddle and snorkeling.