The solitary sea squirt Ascidiella aspersa is native to the Northeastern Atlantic, from the Mediterranean Sea to Norway. Living in shallow sheltered sites and harbors, this species has a fast growth rate and is able to produce a large number of larvae.
These attributes have helped make it a successful colonizer of non-native environments, such as the Southwestern Atlantic, where it has become an invasive species introduced likely via ships.
Dr. Evangelina Schwindt, Head of the Grupo de Ecología en Ambientes Costeros from CONICET in Argentina, studies Ascidiella aspersa as part of her research as a marine invasive ecologist. Her work involves researching the interactions between invasive and native species, the patterns and processes occurring in biological invasions from the historical and present-day perspectives, the impact caused by invasive species, and the management strategies that can be applied.