POTSDAM -- Clarkson University assistant professor of mathematics Rana Parshad has received a three-year grant totaling approximately $420,000 from the National Science Foundation for his research on mathematical modeling for controlling invasive aquatic species.
The award is from the NSF’s Division of Mathematical Sciences, Mathematical Biology Program.
The project, “Collaborative Research: A Novel Control for Invasive Species – Modeling, Analysis, and Experiments,” will explore the Trojan Y-Chromosome (TYC) strategy, which hypothesizes that the introduction of a genetically-modified sub-population into an invasive population will eradicate the target invasive species over time, while protecting native species.
When an invasive species is introduced into a new habitat, it can cause large scale damage by preying on native species or competing for the same resources.
“The spread of invasive species is a major problem in spatial ecology, and there is a large body of literature on understanding this spread. However, there is far less work on the actual eradication and control of invasive species once invasion has occurred,” says Parshad.
The TYC strategy is a biological control that introduces a sub-population of genetically modified males with YY chromosomes (as opposed to the normal XY chromosomes) in order to guarantee future offspring will be male. In theory, over time the population will be male skewed, driving down the female population and ultimately leading to the extinction of the invasive species in that particular area.