UI Center for Research on Invasive Species and Small Populations UI Center for Research on Invasive Species and Small Populations University of Idaho College of Natural Resources University of Idaho College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Image Map



CRISSP researchers use biotechnological and conventional methods to address pressing ecological problems in agriculture and natural resource management.  Specifically, CRISSP members target the ecology of invasive species, and the management of small or declining populations, both subject areas with broad economic and environmental implications for the northwestern states.  Recent advances in molecular technologies have led to entirely new areas of inquiry in the fields of biology, agriculture and natural resources that allow geneticists, ecologists, agronomists, and social scientists to collaboratively solve problems.  Application of these technologies requires both expertise and state of the art equipment.  CRISSP gathered several laboratories and research facilities under its umbrella that allows the roaster of currently 27 nationally and internationally prominent scientists within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), the College of Law, the College of Natural Resources (CNR), and the College of Science to address problems and develop management strategies to maintain the regions biodiversity and agricultural and natural resource bases.

The purpose of CRISSP is to foster innovative and collaborative research across natural sciences, social sciences, and law that will serve any and all clients and stakeholders of the center and inform management decisions.  Projects will give equal importance to small and declining populations and invasive species problems while emphasis will be given to projects that link both subject areas.  Regardless of subject area, each project will utilize the full breadth of multi- and cross-disciplinary research and education unique to CRISSP.


Biocontrol Agent Card Decks for Noxious WeedsBiocontrol Agent Card Decks for Noxious Weeds

Six new card decks focusing on common biocontrol insects released on invasive plants are now available! Each user-friendly card deck describes the insect and mite species used on a particular weed species in the US and Canada. Learn how to identify and monitor the insects and the plants they impact. Choose from Thistles, Cirsium thistles, Tansy ragwort, St. Johnswort, Broom and Gorse, and Bindweeds. To request your copy, email crissp@uidaho.edu.

Idaho’s Noxious Weeds Identification Handbook

This guide to Idaho’s noxious weeds features color photos of all 57 noxious weeds in Idaho along with descriptions and characteristics of each invasive plant. Also featured is a handy control guide to aide you in your management efforts. To order a copy of the latest edition today, click here or contact the University of Idaho’s Educational Publications Warehouse at (208) 885-7982. The identification books are $5.50 per copy.

Biocontrol Manuals

Want to learn more about insects that eat invasive plants? Browse the manuals online. Just click on the links below. Please be patient downloading manuals as the files are large.

Biology and Biological Control of Dalmatian and Yellow Toadflax
Biology and Biological Control of Exotic True Thistles
Biology and Biological Control of Knapweed
Biology and Biological Control of Leafy Spurge
Biology and Biological Control of Purple Loosestrife
Biology and Biological Control of Yellow Starthistle

noxious weeds

Photo credit: University of Idaho, C. Roché and Nez Perce Biocontrol Center

Idaho Weed Resource Website

Interested in learning more about invasive plants, identification, and control?
Click here to explore the newest Idaho website devoted to weed resources.

Idaho Weed Resource


Since the initial SBOE Grant that helped create CRISSP, numerous studies have been published by CRISSP faculty and graduate students. Below is a list of publications to date. To view the full text, download the pdf file (where available) associated with the publication.

Anlauf, K. and C. Moffitt. 2008. Models of stream habitat characteristics associated with tubificid populations in an intermountain watershed. Hydrobiologia. 603:147-158.

Bruce, R. L., C. M. Moffitt. Quantifying risks of volitional consumption of New Zealand mudsnails by steelhead and rainbow trout. Aquaculture Research.

Colvin, M. E., and C. M. Moffitt. 2008. Evaluation of irrigation canal networks to assess stream connectivity in a watershed. River and Research Applications.

Drennan, J.D., S. Ireland, S.E. LaPatra, L. Grabowski, T. Carrothers, and K.D. Cain. 2005. High densityrearing of white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus) induces white sturgeon iridovirus disease among asymptomatic carriers. Aquaculture Research 36, 824-827.

Drennan, J.D., LaPatra, S.E., Siple, J.T., Ireland, S., and Cain, K.D. 2006. Transmission of white sturgeon iridovirus in Kootenai River white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus). Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 70, 37-45.

Drennan, J.D., LaPatra, S.E., Swan, C.M., Ireland, S., and Cain, K.D. Detection of serum and mucosal antibodies in white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus Richardson) following immunization. Fish and Shellfish Immunology.

Drennan, J.D., LaPatra, S.E., Samson, C.A., Ireland, S., Eversman, K.F., and Cain, K.D. 2007. Evaluation of lethal and non-lethal sampling methods for the detection of WSIV infection in white sturgeon Acipenser transmontanus. Journal of Fish Diseases 29, 1-13.

Dungan, F. and G. Newcombe. 2007. New records for powdery mildews and Taphrina species in Idaho and Washington. Pacific Northwest Fungi 2(8): 1-5. pdf

Estes-Zumpf, W.A. and J.L. Rachlow. (in press) Natal dispersal by the pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis). Journal of Mammalogy.

Estes-Zumpf, W.A., J.L. Rachlow, and L.P.Waits. 2008. Ten polymorphic microsatellite markers for the pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis). Molecular Ecology Resources 8:360-362. pdf

Estes-Zumpf, W.A. and J.L. Rachlow. 2007. Evaluation of radio transmitters on juvenile rabbits: application to the semi-fossorial pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis). Western North American Naturalist 67:133-136. pdf

Ganley, R.J., Sniezko, R.A., and G. Newcombe. 2007. Endophyte-mediated resistance against white pine blister rust in Pinus monticola. Forest Ecology and Management. 255: 2751-2760. pdf

Struggling whitebark pine in the Seven Devils Mountains of Idaho. Photo courtesy of George Newcombe.

Struggling whitebark pine in the Seven Devils Mountains of Idaho. Photo courtesy of George Newcombe.

Jensen, N. R., Williams, S. R., Ireland, S. C., Siple, J. T., Cain, K. D. Evaluation of egg incubation methods and larval feeding regimes for North American burbot. North American Journal of Aquaculture.

Jensen, N. R., Zuccarelli , M. D., Patton, S. J., Williams, S. R., Ireland, S. C. and Cain, K. D. Cryopreservation and methanol effects on sperm motility and egg fertilization rates for North American burbot semen. North American Journal of Aquaculture.

Jones, D. T., C. M. Moffitt, and K. Kenneth Peters. 2007. Temperature-mediated differences in bacterial kidney disease expression and survival in Renibacterium salmoninarum challenged bull trout and other salmonids. North American Journal of Fisheries Management, 27:695-706.

LaFrentz, B.R., LaPatra, S.E., Jones, G.R., Congleton, J.L., Sun, B. and Cain, K.D. 2002. Characterization of serum and mucosal antibody responses and relative percent survival in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) following immunization and challenge with Flavobacterium psychrophilum. Journal of Fish Diseases 25:703-713.

LaFrentz, B.R., LaPatra, S.E., Jones, G.R. and Cain, K.D. 2004. Protective immunity in rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss following immunization with distinct molecular mass fractions isolated from Flavobacterium psychrophilum. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 59:17-26.

LaFrentz, B.R., Lindstrom, N.M., LaPatra, S.E., Call, D.R., and Cain, K.D. Electrophoretic and Western blot analyses of the lipopolysaccharide and glycocalyx of Flavobacterium psychrophilum. Fish and Shellfish Immunology.

Lindstrom, N.M., Call, D.R., House, M.L., Moffitt, C.M., and Cain, K.D. A quantitative enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and filtration-based fluorescent antibody test (FAT) as potential tools to screen broodstock for Flavobacterium psychrophilum infection. Journal of Aquatic Animal Health.

Moffitt, C. M. 2005. Environmental, economic and social aspects of animal protein production and opportunities for aquaculture. fisheries 30(9):36-38.

Moffitt, C. M., A. H. Haukenes, and C. J. Williams. 2004. Evaluating and understanding fish health risks and their consequences in propagated and free-ranging fish populations. American Fisheries Society Symposium 44:529-537.

Newcombe, G. 2005. Genes for parasite-specific, non-host resistance in Populus. Genetics and Resistance 95(8): 779-783. pdf

Newcombe, G., Gaylord R., Yenish J., Mastrogiuseppe J., and F. Dugan. 2009. New records for pathogentic fungi on weedy or non-indigenous plants. North American Fungi 4(8): 1-12. pdf

Sanchez-de Leon, Y. and J. Johnson-Maynard. 2008. Dominance of an invasive earthworm in native and non-native grassland ecosystems. Biological Invasions. pdf

Shipunov, A., Newcombe, G., Raghavendra, A.K., and C.L. Anderson. 2008. Hidden diversity of endophytic fungi in an invasive plant. American Journal of Botany 95:1096-1108. pdf

Waits, L. P. Microsatellite DNA genotyping identifies killer bear and cubs Example box in ed. F. Allendorf and G. Luikart Conservation and Genetics of Populations. Blackwell.

Williams, C. J., and C. M. Moffitt. 2005. Estimation of prevalence of pathogens in pooled samples using maximum likelihood methods and open source software. Journal of Aquatic Animal Health. 17:386-391.