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National invasive species experts to honor UT Arlington biology professor emeritus with Lifetime Achievement Award

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Media Contact: Bridget Lewis

News Topics: awards, biology, faculty

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The National Invasive Species Council will honor University of Texas at Arlington professor emeritus of biology Robert McMahon with a Lifetime Achievement Award Feb. 22-28 in Washington, D.C.

Robert McMahon

Officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Department of Interior, which help to direct the Council, will present the award during National Invasive Species Awareness Week 2015.

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes outstanding leadership and achievement over the course of a career in the areas of research, prevention, management and/or control of invasive species. McMahon is widely known for his research on invasive aquatic mollusks, particularly zebra and quagga mussels, Asian clams and apple snails.

“I consider this award the capstone to my more than 42 year career studying aquatic invasive species as a faculty member in UT Arlington’s Department of Biology,” McMahon said. “I feel very honored to be chosen by this national organization to receive this award.”

James Grover, interim dean of the UT Arlington College of Science, said McMahon’s contributions over the years exemplify the growing importance of UT Arlington as a national research university.

“Dr. McMahon is an outstanding scholar whose work has had impact across the United States and beyond,” Grover said.

The U.S. National Sea Grant, Texas Commission on Environmental quality, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Electric Power Research Institute and several chemical and power generating entities have supported McMahon’s work during his career. He presently collaborates with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the 100th Meridian Initiative and his ongoing research on the population dynamics of zebra mussels in warm Texas water bodies. McMahon developed monitoring and risk assessment programs for the mussel with funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

McMahon examining a live plankton sample for zebra mussel veligers at Lake Lewisville.

In 1988, he founded the Center for Biological Macrofouling Research at UT Arlington, which supports research and outreach on aquatic invasive species macrofouling control.

Criteria for Lifetime Achievement Award includes visionary leadership, innovation and creativity, impact on the prevention/control of invasive species and ability to form successful collaborations.

About the National Invasive Species Council

The National Invasive Species Council was established by Executive Order 13112 to ensure that Federal programs and activities to prevent and control invasive species are coordinated, effective and efficient.

NISC members are the secretaries and administrators of 13 federal departments and agencies to provide high level coordination on invasive species and are co-chaired by the Secretaries of Commerce, Agriculture, and the Interior. Visit to learn more.

About The University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of almost 48,000 students around the world and the second largest institution in The University of Texas System. The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked UT Arlington as the seventh fastest-growing public research university in 2013. U.S. News & World Report ranks UT Arlington fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. Visit to learn more, and find UT Arlington rankings and recognition at   


The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.