GVSU researcher wins Scientist of the Year honors

Ryan Thum
Ryan Thum

Ryan Thum, a researcher at Grand Valley’s Annis Water Resources Institute, has been awarded Scientist of the Year honors by the Northeast Aquatic Plant Management Society.

Thum’s research at AWRI focuses on evolutionary and molecular ecology, with a specific emphasis on invasive aquatic species. His lab is currently working on experiments that will help explain herbicide resistance in aquatic plants, along with the evolutionary ecology of invasive plants. 

NEAPMS officials noted that Thum’s research produces user-friendly data for aquatic plant managers. 

“If that is true, it is because managers have generously given their time to take me in the field with them, and to openly discuss their perspectives on issues in aquatic plant management,” Thum said. “These interactions play a central role in shaping my research program. I am grateful for the numerous research opportunities that the APMS societies have provided to me, and to my students.”

Thum was given the award by the Northeast Aquatic Plant Management Society because of his ties to the region. His first experiences with research came as a doctoral student at Dartmouth in New Hampshire, and he has maintained connections to the agencies in the region, including having one of his graduate students do her field work in New England. Thum is active in the society’s Midwest chapter as well, where he is conducting similar research.

The Northeast Aquatic Plant Management Society is a diverse group of professionals dedicated to understanding the unique needs of aquatic plant management in the Northeast and communicating that knowledge to both the public and private sectors. The organization participates in local, regional and national advocacy issues related to aquatic plant management by tracking and influencing governmental policy and legislation.