Mysis diluviana and Hemimysis anomala are the only two species of mysid shrimps in the order Mysidacea that are present in the Laurentian Great Lakes of North America. M. diluviana has inhabited the deep, cold waters of this region since Pleistocene-era glacial retreat and is widely considered to have a central role in the functioning of offshore food webs in systems they inhabit. More recently, the Great Lakes were invaded by the Ponto-Caspian native Hemimysis, a species that inhabits warmer water and shallower depths relative to M. diluviana. Hemimysis has rapidly expanded throughout the Great Lakes region and has become integrated into nearshore food webs as both food for planktivorous fish and predators and competitors of zooplankton. This special issue is composed of 14 papers that represent the most recent advances in our understanding of the ecological importance of both species of mysids to lake and river ecosystems in the Great Lakes region of North America. Topics discussed in this special issue will inform future research in all systems influenced by mysid ecology.