Invasive Species in the Indian River Lagoon, Atlantic & Caribbean
Date: 02/24/15 6:30 PM
Location: Osceola Bistro, 2045 13th Avenue, Vero Beach

Florida’s hospitable climate brings millions of people to the state each year, but it is also welcoming to invasive plants and animals that compete with native species, threaten fragile ecosystems, and cost hundreds of millions of dollars to manage. As a part of National Invasive Species Awareness Week, COSEE Florida is sponsoring a free Science Café in downtown Vero Beach on Tuesday, February 24th at 6:30pm at Osceola Bistro to share information about invasive species in the Indian River Lagoon and Florida’s coastal ecosystems.

A science café is a casual event in a fun atmosphere that features audience-driven conversation with scientists and other experts. The February science café will focus on the science of invasive species and give participants a chance to engage with local researchers. Speakers include scientists studying marine invaders, as well as those involved in invasive species management:

  • Dominique Lazarre (University of Miami) studies how lionfish larvae are transported around the Caribbean and investigates the potential impact of lionfish on the spiny lobster fishery in the Florida Keys.
  • Holly Sweat (Florida Institute of Technology) focuses on invasive species that are transported via boat hull fouling, such as mussels, barnacles, and tunicates.
  • Emily Dark, researcher and conservation biologist, will speak about the work being done to manage the lionfish invasion.

Non-native animals and plants can harm humans and the environment and impact our nation's economy, costing the U.S. billions of dollars each year. “Invasive species present serious economic and environmental challenges, but awareness is an important step to manage these issues” said Jasmine Wanek, COSEE Florida Program Assistant. Each speaker will briefly present on their topic, followed by the floor being opened for audience-driven discussion.

Osceola Bistro takes pride in supporting the local economy and promoting sustainable sourcing through the serving of fresh, local food. Join COSEE Florida for conversation, appetizers, and drinks - then stay for dinner! To assist with the planning of this event, please RSVP to Jasmine Wanek at 772-465-3271 or email Jasime at

National Invasive Species Awareness Week is organized to bring attention to the impacts, prevention, and management of invasive species - and all those who are working toward healthy, biodiverse ecosystems. In addition to a week full of events in Washington, DC, activities promoting awareness of invasive species are taking place around the country. For more information, visit

Contact Name: Jasmine Wanek
Contact Phone: (772) 465-3271
Contact Email:

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