Monument to the boll weevil in Enterprise, Alabama

“Swamp Things: Invasive Species as Environmental Disasters”

Environmental Disaster in the Gulf South: Two Centuries of Catastrophe, Risk, and Resilience, edited by Cindy Ermus (Baton Rouge, LA: LSU Press, 2018), 103-130 (co-authored with Cindy Ermus)

This chapter asks whether living things ever deserve to be called “natural disasters.” More specifically, the narrative asks whether introduced non-native populations, sometimes known as “invasive species,” qualify as natural disasters. We examine six different non-native species (feral pigs, nutria, fire ants, boll weevils, Burmese pythons, and lionfish) that have established populations in the Gulf South, and the extent to which these animals have influenced the region’s economy, ecology, and culture.