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Illinois Invasive Species Symposium

An image of an insect over a photo of bush honeysuckle
Event Date(s)
Event Time
Champaign County Extension Office
Event Fee

Invasive species are a serious and expensive threat to ecosystems, and Illinois ranks 5th in the U.S. for invasive species introductions. 

Invasive species are a growing concern in our forests, lakes, backyards, and agricultural fields. These non-native plants, animals, and insects spread quickly, and once they take hold, they're costly to remove.

Get the latest research updates, explore management recommendations, hear about success stories, network with colleagues, and find resources to manage invasive species effectively at the ninth annual Illinois Invasive Species Symposium. Topics include an update on spotted lanternfly, Zebra mussel mitigation, tracking invasive ticks, and an open Q&A panel discussion on the state of invasive species in Illinois.

The event is open to industry professionals, landowners and managers, farmers, foresters, volunteers, environmental stewards, and the media.

Lunch is included in the registration cost.

Contact Erin Garrett for more information at 618-524-2270 or


9:30 AM: Welcome

9:40 AM: Let’s Talk – Strategies for Engaging with Communities About Invasive Species
Emily Steele, University of Illinois Extension media communications manager

10:10 AM: Summative Research Report on Four Year Zebra Mussel Mitigation and Monitoring Project in Lake County
John Sonnenberg, Joe Rogalski, and David Hammond, Lake county Zebra Mussel Project

10:50 AM: Updates on State and Federally Regulated Insect Pests for Illinois
Scott Schirmer, Illinois Department of Agriculture, Nursery & Northern Field Office Section Manager

11:20 AM: Volunteer Habitat Restoration Project at Lincoln’s New Salem Historical Site
Terri Treacy, Menard County Trails and Greenways

11:50 AM: Lunch

12:45 PM:  Passive Surveillance Using Animal and Wildlife Shelters for Early Detection of Invasive Ticks and Tick-borne Disease Agents in Illinois
Zachary Zwiebel, Holly Tuten, and Teresa Steckler; University of Illinois Animal Sciences, Illinois Natural History Survey, University of Illinois Extension

1:15 PM: The Threat of Invasive Crayfish on Crayfish of Greatest Conservation Need in Illinois: Habitat Associations and Conservation Implications
Dusty Swedberg, Christopher Taylor, and Molly Carlson; Illinois Natural History Survey

1:45 PM: Public Gardens as Sentinels against Invasive Plants
Kurt Dreisilker, Morton Arboretum

2:25 PM: Monitoring Aquatic Invasive Species throughout the Illinois River Watershed Using Environmental DNA
Joel Corush, Illinois Natural History Survey

2:55 PM: The State of Invasive Species in Illinois: Q&A Panel Discussion
Christopher Evans, Scott Schirmer, Katie O’Reilly, Phil Cox

If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate, please contact