Destructive snails are invading Bay Area waters. And no one knows what to do

UC Berkeley doctoral student Emily King is studying the behavior of New Zealand mud snails to find a way to stop their infestation.

The tiny black dots on the soggy leaf that Emily King plucked out of Mount Diablo Creek the other day did not look very threatening, but the UC Berkeley biologist knows well how looks can be deceiving.

King, 25, has spent the past year and a half studying the smaller-than-tick-size specks, a dreaded sight for researchers familiar with what an infestation of New Zealand mud snails looks like.