Kelly Baerwaldt, a fish biologist and eDNA program manager with the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers St. Paul District and corps monitoring team lead for the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal Aquatic Nuisance Species Barrier Project, has been named the 2013 Junior Scientist of the year by the Quad-City Engineering and Science Council.

Baerwaldt of Eldridge also represents the Corps on the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee. She has exhibited dedication in the effort to prevent Asian Carp from establishing in the Great Lakes. She is widely recognized as a national expert on the Asian Carp threat. She has been instrumental in developing the use of the eDNA technique for identifying the potential presence of invasive fish species by collecting genetic material from water samples and applying it as a regional monitoring tool in the Mississippi River Basin.

She received her bachelor of science degree in zoology from Michigan State University and her master of science degree in zoology from Southern Illinois University.

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