Newswise — HAMILTON, ON, May 22, 2014 — Even as longstanding threats to the Great Lakes are being resolved, emerging problems threaten the massive, yet fragile ecosystem. McMaster University is planning to welcome 600 to 700 researchers from Canada, the US and beyond to share and debate information about how to cope with the newest problems, when it hosts the International Association for Great Lakes Research conference, Monday to Friday (May 26 to 30).

“Some things have improved, but other things have not improved and are getting worse,” said Patricia Chow-Fraser, a professor of biology at McMaster and conference site chair.

Presentations and discussions will feature leading academic and government researchers and resource managers discussing such topics as:

- invasive species such as Asian carp, and the turmoil they are creating in the food web

- the growth of cities and the impact of human land use on the lakes

- changing Great Lakes water levels

- the effects of climate change and severe weather

- challenges and victories in the battle against pollution, including new contaminants such as microplastics

- the increasing threat of botulism, which is responsible for an increasing number of fish and bird kills- new technology that is making it easier to understand the lakes and how they are changingAmong the experts scheduled to speak at the conference are Lenore Fahrig of Carleton University, who will talk about roads and wildlife, John Hartig, manager of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, who will talk about the recovery of the Detroit River, and Elizabeth May, leader of the federal Green Party.Journalists are invited to cover the sessions and speakers, which are listed here: covering the conference are asked to identify themselves at the registration area. -30-

For more information please contact:

Wade HemsworthPublic Relations ManagerMcMaster University905-525-9140, ext. 27988[email protected]

Michelle DonovanPublic Relations ManagerMcMaster University905-525-9140, ext. 22869[email protected]