Cindy has been with the U.S. Geological Survey for 15 years and working on invasive species issues for over 20 years.
Cindy came to appreciate the outdoors growing up in Michigan and became interested in aquatic ecosystem and their stressors at Michigan State while working on her Bachelor of Science. She has a special interest in the Great Lakes; invasive species prevention, detection, containment, and control; and risk assessment and decision science.
CAREER HISTORY AND HIGHLIGHTS
- Assistant Research Biologist, Illinois Natural History Survey, Sam Parr Biological Station, Kinmundy, Illinois
- Research Fishery Biologist, Invasive Species Workgroup Leader, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, USGS, La Crosse, Wisconsin
- Affiliate membership, graduate faculty, Biology Department, University of Wisconsin at La Crosse, La Crosse, Wisconsin
- Adjunct faculty at George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia
- Science Advisor/Assistant Program Coordinator, Invasive Species Program, Ecosystems Mission Area, USGS National Center, Reston, Virginia
B.S. Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
M.S. Zoology and Physiology, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming
Ph.D. Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana
Cindy is most interested in the influences of ecosystem stressors on global processes, especially at the nexus of science, policy, and natural resource management.
Science and Products
Find out more about invasive species in the western U.S. such as cheatgrass, tamarisk, and buffelgrass.
Find out more about invasive species in the Pacific islands such as brown treesnake, invasive mammals (mouflon, feral pigs, rats, and mongoose), plants, ants, and yellowjacket wasps.
Find out more about invasive species in the Everglades such as the burmese python and black and white tegus.
Find out more about invasive species in the midwest such as asian carp, sea lamprey, and phragmites.
USGS research focuses on developing and enhancing capabilities to forecast and predict invasive species establishment and spread. Early detection helps resource managers identify and report new invasive species, especially for cryptic species and those in very low abundance, to better assess risks to natural areas.
Tracking the establishment and spread of existing and new invasive species is critical to effectively manage invasive species.
Once invasive species are established, how should they be managed?
The USGS develops strategies and techniques to understand and facilitate restoration of native species and habitats affected by invasive species. This is critical because control without restoration can leave the ecosystem vulnerable to subsequent reinvasion by the same or additional invasive species.
Ecological risk assessment of Grass Carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) for the Great Lakes Basin
Grass Carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) is an herbivorous, freshwater fish that was first introduced in the United States in the early 1960s for use in biological control of aquatic vegetation. It has since escaped and dispersed through the Mississippi River basin towards the Great Lakes. To characterize the risk of Grass Carp to the Great Lakes...Kolar, Cynthia S.; Cudmore, Becky
USGS science and technology help managers battle invading Asian carp
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) conducts Asian carp research focused on early detection, risk assessment, and development of control tools and strategies. The goals are to prevent the establishment of invasive Asian carp in the Great Lakes and to reduce their impacts in the Ohio River and Mississippi River Basins and elsewhere. Managers can use...Kolar, Cynthia S.; Morrison, Sandra S.
Binational ecological risk assessment of bigheaded carps (Hypophthalmichthys spp.) for the Great Lakes Basin.
Bigheaded carps (Bighead and Silver carps) are considered a potential threat to the Great Lakes basin. A binational ecological risk assessment was conducted to provide scientifically defensible advice for managers and decision-makers in Canada and the United States. This risk assessment looked at the likelihood of arrival, survival, establishment...Cudmore, Becky; Mandrak, Nicholas E.; Dettmers, John M.; Chapman, Duane C.; Kolar, Cynthia S.
Nonnative Fishes in the Upper Mississippi River System
The introduction, spread, and establishment of nonnative species is widely regarded as a leading threat to aquatic biodiversity and consequently is ranked among the most serious environmental problems facing the United States today. This report presents information on nonnative fish species observed by the Long Term Resource Monitoring Program on...Irons, Kevin S.; Irons, Kevin S.; DeLain, Steven A.; Gittinger, Eric; Ickes, Brian S.; Kolar, Cindy S.; Ostendort, David; Ratcliff, Eric N.; Benson, Amy J.
Bigheaded carps : a biological synopsis and environmental risk assessment
The book is a detailed risk assessment and biological synopsis of the bigheaded carps of the genus Hypophthalmichthys, which includes the bighead, silver, and largescale silver carps. It summarizes the scientific literature describing their biology, ecology, uses, ecological effects, and risks to the environment. Includes information on taxonomy...Kolar, Cindy S.; Chapman, Duane C.; Courtenay, Walter R.; Housel, Christine M.; Williams, James D.; Jennings, Dawn P.
Risk assessment and screening for potentially invasive fishes
Preventing the introduction of potentially invasive species is becoming more important as this worldwide problem continues to grow. The ability to predict the identity or range of potential invaders could influence regulatory decisions and help to optimally allocate resources to deal with ongoing invasions. One screening tool presented here, using...Kolar, C.
Piscivory in juvenile walleyes: Relative importance of prey species, timing of spawning of prey fish, and density on growth and survival
We examined the effect of the timing of spawning by prey fish and the species of prey fish on the growth and survival of juvenile walleye Stizostedion vitreum. We expected that age-0 walleyes would grow more in ponds when stocked about the same time as the spawning of gizzard shad Dorosoma cepedianum than when stocked about 6 weeks after spawning...Kolar, C.S.; Wahl, David H.; Hooe, M.L.
Interactions among zebra mussel shells, invertebrate prey, and Eurasian ruffe or yellow perch
The exotic zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha, is established in all of the Laurentian Great Lakes and may affect benthivorous fishes by increasing the complexity of benthic substrates and changing energy flow patterns within the food web. Native yellow perch, Perca flavescens, and the nonindigenous Eurasian ruffe, Gymnocephalus cernuus, are...Kolar, C.S.; Fullerton, A.H.; Martin, K.M.; Lamberti, G.A.
Conditions for the return and simulation of the recovery of burrowing mayflies in western Lake Erie
In the 1950s, burrowing mayflies, Hexagenia spp. (H. Limbata and H. Rigida), were virtually eliminated from the western basin of Lake Erie (a 3300 kmA? area) because of eutrophication and pollution. We develop and present a deterministic model for the recolonization of the western basin by Hexagenia to pre-1953 densities. The model was based on...Kolar, Cynthia S.; Hudson, Patrick L.; Savino, Jacqueline F.
Competition between nonindigenous ruffe and native yellow perch in laboratory studies
The ruffe Gymnocephalus cernuus is a European percid that was accidently introduced in Duluth Harbor, Lake Superior. This nonindigenous species is closely related to yellow perch Perca flavescens, and because the two species have similar diets and habitat requirements, they are potential competitors. Laboratory studies in aquaria and pools were...Savino, Jacqueline F.; Kolar, Cynthia S.