This week we are pleased to welcome Rebecca Rooney from the University of Waterloo.

Herbicide use to control invasive Phragmites: efficacy, fate and effects


European Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. Ex Steud is an aggressive invasive wetland grass that is spreading steadily across Canada.  Over the last two decades it took over coastal marsh habitat on Lake Erie, endangering a dozen or more species at risk and threatening the ecological integrity of these Carolinian biodiversity hotspots. To control its expansion, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry carried out an unprecedented aerial application of Roundup Custom for Aquatic and Terrestrial Use Liquid Herbicide, under an emergency use permit issued by Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency. Between 2016 and 2017, this program applied herbicide to over 1000 ha of dense P. australis. Dr. Rooney, assistant professor at the University of Waterloo, has lead the environmental monitoring efforts around this marsh restoration program to evaluate 1) the efficacy of treatment in reducing the P. australis population and restoring native plant diversity, 2) the dispersal and degradation of glyphosate, and 3) the effects of the herbicide on the receiving environment.

Dr. Rebecca Rooney is a wetland ecologist, studying the effects of human and natural disturbances on community structure and dynamics in marsh ecosystems. An assistant professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Waterloo, she has studied the effects of invasive Phragmites australis on the ecological integrity of Lake Erie coastal marsh since 2012.  She studies diverse taxa such as periphytic algae, vascular plants, aquatic macroinvertebrates, and wetland birds.  Her policy-relevant research program has informed wetland management and monitoring practices in Alberta and Ontario.

This special EEB seminar will take place this Wednesday in the EEB Lounge of the BioSciences Complex, Room 4338, from 12:00-1:00 pm.

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