Tom Alwin, MS Student

Quantifying Milfoil Weevil Density, Distribution and Temporal Variation


The Problem

  • Milfoil is a nuisance, non-native aquatic plant that impedes recreation and alters the biology, chemistry & physics of lakes.
  • Traditional control techniques are costly, have negative side effects, or are a short-term solution. Therefore, biocontrol is an attractive alternative.
  • The milfoil weevil is native and all life stages selectively feed on milfoil…however, biocontrol is not always successful.
  • In order to predict biocontrol success, we must be able to quantify milfoil weevil density, distribution and variation.

Research Question

  • What is the best way to quantify milfoil weevil density and distribution?
  • How do milfoil and weevils vary temporally?
  • What are the relationships among milfoil beds, lake characteristics and weevil density?


Whole-lake intensive lake surveys – Summer 2007 & 2008


MSU, EnviroScience Inc.

Current Employment

Biologist, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality