Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Environmental and Occupational Health

First Committee Member

David Wong

Second Committee Member

Shawn Gerstenberger

Third Committee Member

Paulo Pinheiro

Fourth Committee Member

Steen Madsen

Number of Pages



The expansion of civilization across all borders of the world has proven to affect major components of ecosystems. Since the introduction and establishment of the aquatic invasive species (AIS),Dreissena rostiformis bugensis, commonly known as the quagga mussel, into the United States there has been an extensive amount of time and money spent on controlling and preventing their expansion across the United States. The quagga mussel is of major concern because of its ability to disrupt the ecological communities in previously non-infested bodies of water, which may cause a loss in biodiversity and effect environmental health. The quagga mussel has spread rapidly from the eastern United States to the western United States since their discovery in Lake Erie in 1986. The quagga mussel was discovered in Lake Mead on January 6, 2007 at the Lake Mead Boat Harbor and Nevada has inherited the problems for which there are currently no known solutions. Lake Mead could contribute to the further spread of these dressenid species to non-infested bodies of water in the western United States, i.e. Lake Tahoe, due to overland dispersal by contaminated watercraft. Previous studies on adult quagga mussels have been conducted on mussels east of the 100thmeridian. The United States is host to multiple biomes that provide different climates for terrestrial and aquatic life to acclimate. To date there are no known studies on desiccation resistance with adult quagga mussels from the southwest region of the United States. The results of this study suggest that overland dispersal is possible depending on temperature and relative humidity. Based on this study, adult quagga mussels can survive for less than a day in hotter conditions (30°C or higher). In cooler conditions, adult quagga mussels can survive longer than five days. The data generated from this study may be helpful in preventing further establishment of the quagga mussel.


Aquatic invasive species; Desiccation; Dreissena bugensis; Introduced aquatic organisms; Quagga mussel; United States – Lake Mead; Zebra mussel


Environmental Health | Public Health | Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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