Texas Invasive Species Institute

Texas Invasive Species Institute

The Texas Invasive Species Institute (T.I.S.I.) is housed at the Texas Research Institute for Environment Studies (TRIES), within T.I.S.I. there are two laboratories where trained personnel work on various research projects.

Molecular Lab: In the molecular lab researchers process specimens for genetic analysis. We currently have the following equipment:
Centrifuge machine, PCR machine, PCR gel apparatus, and DNA extraction equipment.

Parasitology Lab: The parasitology lab is equipped for parasitological and histological research projects of various types.

All invasive species specimens collected by T.I.S.I. researchers are deposited into the Sam Houston State University Natural History Collections. The collection is broken into the following ranges:
Sam Houston State University Entomology Collection (SHSUE), Sam Houston State Vertebrate Museum (SHSVM) and the Sam Houston State University Parasitology Collection (SHSUP).

The SHSUE houses an estimated 250,000 – 300,000 insects from various parts of the world. Including large collections from The Big Thicket National Preserve, Hancock Forestry, a large collection of odonate symbiotypes, and insects from the first forensically significant yearlong human decomposition survey in the Piney Woods Ecoregion in Texas.

The SHSVM houses an estimated 5,000 specimens of collected and donated birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and fish. A portion of the mammals and birds have previously been donated by the Houston Zoo, such as a pair of rhino skulls and an elephant skull. The mammal collection also contains several skins including that of a zebra and a polar bear.

The SHSUP houses an estimated 5,000 parasite specimens, several of which are type specimens. Included in the parasitology collection is a several cestodes, trematodes, and nematodes from a survey conducted on 200 arctic waterfowl specimens. Additionally, there are hundreds of unicellular gregarine species several insect generas.