A 12-year-old Florida girl's science fair project on invasive lionfish has surprised even seasoned ecologists, and led to the first published paper on lionfish freshwater tolerance.

Lauren Arrington's relatively simple experiment (put captured lionfish in water of varying saltiness, see if they live) revealed that lionfish can survive much fresher water than anyone expected . . . meaning the rapidly-spreading invasive marine species may also pose a threat to vulnerable life in brackish estuaries.

(Her dad, an ecologist, rejected her first proposed experiment, which required that he touch dead lionfish to see if their stings still hurt. Lionfish stings are excruciatingly painful, with victims reporting that they "wished they were dead," so her father's scientific obstructionism is understandable.)

Read more at sun-sentinel.com