The stuff of nightmares in both their looks and the wounds inflicted on their victims, sea lampreys are perhaps the deadliest invasive species to ever enter the Great Lakes. At the invasion’s apex in the mid-20th century, harvests of lake trout, the lampreys’ preferred host fish in the Great Lakes, plummeted from peak annual catches of 15 million pounds to just a few hundred thousand pounds per year—a drop of 98% in only a few decades.
In his new book, Great Lakes Sea Lamprey,author Cory Brant explores the incredible story of the lamprey invasion—what started it, how it was halted, and what this history can teach us about the response to biological invaders in the present and future. In addition to discussing the book, Brant will showcase an aquarium of live sea lamprey at this event and talk about the otherworldly anatomy that made the species such a terror in the Great Lakes. This event is in partnership with The University of Michigan Press. It includes a signing with books for sale.
Cory Brant is a researcher at the U.S. Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan. For over a decade, his work has focused on sea lampreys, particularly the species’ use of chemical communication, and how to exploit that biology as a method of control.