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Mountain Pine Beetle Ecology Program Science Round Up - Webinar Series

When: 
Tuesday, November 17, 2020 - 11:00am to Tuesday, February 16, 2021 - 12:00pm
Cost: 
No Cost
Description: 
The Mountain Pine Beetle Ecology Program is hosting its premier communication event online, beginning November 17. We have 11 of Canada's top mountain pine beetle researchers lined up to present results from their leading research that will make a difference in managing the beetle.
 
All webinars are one hour long on Tuesdays, beginning at 11:00 AM Mountain Time. Register for as many as you would like at no cost. The hour-long webinars qualify for continuing competency credits through professional colleges and organizations
 

For questions and assistance, contact us here.

Quick Links

November 17: Introduction to the Mountain Pine Beetle Ecology Program research and this webinar series & Mountain pine beetle attack dynamics in its expanded range in Alberta

November 24: Factors of Flight and Attack Dynamics

December 1: Anatomical and Chemical Fingerprinting of Resistant Lodgepole Pine

December 8: Refining MPB Attractants for Detection in an Expanded Range

December 15: Population Dynamics and Spread Factors

January 12: Genes Matter

January 19: Our Future Forests

January 26: Under What Conditions Should We Use Mycorrhizal Inoculum to Restore Our Forests

February 2: Putting Genomics to Work

February 9: MPB Effects on Fire: what do we know?

February 16: How Research has Made a Difference in Managing/ Controlling the Beetle


November 17: Introduction to the Mountain Pine Beetle Ecology Program research and this webinar series

Presented by Dr. Keith McClain

& Mountain pine beetle attack dynamics in its expanded range in Alberta

Presented by Antonia Musso

Co-authors: Dr. Maya Evenden and Dr. Allan Carroll

 

Part 1 Abstract

The Mountain Pine Beetle Ecology Program (MPBEP) supports research to enhance operational decisions and inform policy development in Alberta. Early in 2006-07, fRI Research (known at that time as the Foothills Model Forest) was tasked with developing a program that would act as a science forum with the responsibility of defining information needs, supporting research and disseminating information. The rationale behind this venture coincided with the beetle's overflight across the Rockies in 2006 in northeastern Alberta. Since this overflight, the damage to Alberta's pine resource has been extensive and continues to increase, leading to heightened concern over the security of the forest industry, public safety, community well-being, ecological services and species at risk. To address the growing information needs, the MPBEP has worked with universities, governments, and organizations. Our understanding of beetle ecology has increased significantly, allowing for better decisions to manage and control its spread. My introduction will further describe the program, and this Webinar Series will exemplify the research conducted.

Presenter Bio

Keith McClain

Keith is a Registered Professional Forester and has worked in forest science for his entire career. Since 2012, Keith has been Program Lead for the fRI Research Mountain Pine Beetle Ecology Program, whose purpose has been to acquire relevant scientific information to inform operations and support policy development for the management and control of the MPB. Keith is an active Honorary Member of the Canadian Institute of Forestry and has Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the University of Toronto and a PhD degree from Oregon State University.

Part 2 Abstract

Mountain pine beetle (MPB) has expanded its range into Northern and Central Alberta, where it has attacked the novel host jack pine. To describe how MPB mass attack jack pine, we performed a density manipulation experiment on living jack pines in the field. We found that it takes fewer MPB to mass attack jack pine, but the gallery characteristics were markedly different compared to lodgepole pine. Understanding how mass attack dynamics differ in jack pine will allow us to predict the long-term population dynamics and inform management of MPB in its expanded range.

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Presenter Bio

Antonia Musso

Antonia Musso hails from the Greater Vancouver area where she completed her BSc and Master of Pest Management at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby BC. While studying rodent chemical ecology for her masters’ research, Antonia took a forest pest management field course and set her heart on returning to her first and truest love, entomology. Antonia is now a fifth year PhD student in the lab of Dr. Maya Evenden at University of Alberta studying mountain pine beetle ecology and dynamics in Northern Alberta.

Co-author bios

Maya Evenden

Dr. Evenden graduated with a BSc in Co-op Biology from the University of Victoria in 1991. After a year at Université Laval for French language training, she started at Simon Fraser University in the Master of Pest Management (MPM) Program. Her MPM research, conducted in the laboratory of Dr. John Borden, focused on the development of a pheromone-based monitoring system for an important forest defoliator, the western hemlock looper. Dr. Evenden continued in the Borden lab for her PhD with a focus on research of chemical communication in orchard-inhabiting moths and later pursued postdoctoral studies at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Evenden’s first academic appointment was at West Chester University in Pennsylvania, where she continued to conduct research in orchard agroecosystems and was introduced to teaching undergraduate students. In 2003, Dr. Evenden received an NSERC University Faculty Award that allowed her to join the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta. In Alberta, her research has focused on the chemical and behavioural ecology of insects considered to be pests of agriculture and forestry in western Canada. She has graduated eighteen graduate students from her lab since 2003. Most recently, the reach of Dr. Evenden’s research, teaching and service achievements has been recognized by the receipt of the Distinguished Academic Award from the Confederation of Alberta Faculty Associations.

Allan Carroll

Dr. Carroll is a Professor of Insect Ecology, Director of the Forest Sciences Program, and Head of the Forest Insect Ecology Lab in the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia. Allan’s current research interests centre on the impacts of climate change on the dynamics of eruptive forest insect populations. The main focus of his research during the past 20 years has been on the population dynamics, impacts and manageme-nt of the mountain pine beetle.


November 24: Factors of Flight and Attack Dynamics

Presented by Dr. Maya Evenden

Co-authors: Kelsey L. Jones, Rahmatollah Rajabzadeh, Guncha Ishangulyyeva, and Dr. Nadir Erbilgin

 

Abstract

Mountain pine beetles exhibit polyphenic variation in flight, but the mechanisms maintaining this variation are unknown. We tested the effect of flight on host colonisation and pheromone production. We flew beetles on flight mills and measured subsequent host colonisation and pheromone release. We detected a trade-off between flight and host colonisation that was driven by beetle weight loss.  Weight lost during flight and distance flown impacted aggregation pheromone release by females.  Whereas, only post-flight beetle condition affected pheromone release by males. We present mechanisms that facilitate the extremes of the continuous flight polyphenism spectrum in mountain pine beetles.

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Maya Evenden

Dr. Evenden graduated with a BSc in Co-op Biology from the University of Victoria in 1991.  After a year at Université Laval for French language training, she started at Simon Fraser University in the Master of Pest Management (MPM) Program.  Her MPM research, conducted in the laboratory of Dr. John Borden, focused on the development of a pheromone-based monitoring system for an important forest defoliator, the western hemlock looper.  Dr. Evenden continued in the Borden lab for her PhD with a focus on research of chemical communication in orchard-inhabiting moths and later pursued postdoctoral studies at the University of Kentucky.  Dr. Evenden’s first academic appointment was at West Chester University in Pennsylvania, where she continued to conduct research in orchard agroecosystems and was introduced to teaching undergraduate students.  In 2003, Dr. Evenden received an NSERC University Faculty Award that allowed her to join the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta.  In Alberta, her research has focused on the chemical and behavioural ecology of insects considered to be pests of agriculture and forestry in western Canada.  She has graduated eighteen graduate students from her lab since 2003.  Most recently, the reach of Dr. Evenden’s research, teaching and service achievements has been recognized by the receipt of the Distinguished Academic Award from the Confederation of Alberta Faculty Associations. 

Co-author bios

Kelsey Jones

Kelsey Jones is a recent MSc graduate from the University of Alberta. Her MSc thesis focused on understanding how pheromones and kairomones influence mountain pine beetle flight. And how mountain pine beetle flight influences subsequent host colonization and pheromone production. She now works for Agriculture and Agrifood Canada studying beetles that are pests of stored products.

Rahmatollah Rajabzadah

Rahmatollah Rajabzadah received his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry at University of Mazandaran and his Master’s degree in Analytical Chemistry at K.N.T University of Technology in Tehran, Iran. After graduation he worked for 2 years in Azad University in Iran as an Instructor for Analytical Lab Courses and after that he joined the Water and Wastewater Company as a QC lab supervisor for 6 years. In 2015 he moved to Canada and in 2016 started working in Dr. Erbilgin's Lab at the University of Alberta as a Chemical Technologist. In 2018 he also began working in Dr. Wishart's Lab as an Analytical Chemist. Rahmatollah is currently working in the Research and Innovation Department of Champion Pet Foods Company as an Analytical Chemist in Morinville, Alberta.

Guncha Ishangulyyeva

Guncha Ishangulyyeva has received her bachelor’s degree in Biology at Kyrgyz State University in Kyrgyzstan. Guncha completed her master’s degree in Forest Biology and Management program in 2015 at University of Alberta and stayed in science to continue exploring the chemistry of plant, insect, and pathogen interactions. Guncha currently works as a lab supervisor in the Forest Entomology and Chemical Ecology Lab, Renewable Resources Department at University of Alberta, where she operates instruments as well as instructing undergraduate and graduate students on how to conduct experiments and do chemical analyses.

Nadir Erbilgin
Dr. Nadir Erbilgin is Professor of Forest Entomology and Chemical Ecology in the Department of Renewable Resources at the University of Alberta-Edmonton. He received his Ph.D. in entomology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was a postdoctoral research fellow  at the University of California-Berkeley, and joined the faculty at the University of Alberta as a Canada Research Chair in 2007. He has developed a broad and diversified expertise in entomology and pathology, chemical ecology, plant biology, and soil microbiology. His research group characterizes the changes in tree conditions as well as in soil microbial community in response to biotic and abiotic stressors and how these changes in turn affect the health of forests. . He uses the invasion of the lodgepole pine and jack pine forests by the mountain pine beetle as his study system. Currently, he leads one NSERC-SPG on “Using the functional traits of soil fungi to improve post-disturbance pine regeneration” and co-leads a Genome Canada project on “Resilient forests (RES-FOR): Climate, pests & policy-Genomic Applications”. Nadir Erbilgin was a recipient of a Canada Research Chair Award from the Government of Canada. He has trained five postdoctoral researchers, 10 doctoral students, 19 Master’s students, 16 undergraduate students, and hosted several visiting graduate and undergraduate students from China, Germany, Spain, and Italy.

December 1: Anatomical and Chemical Fingerprinting of Resistant Lodgepole Pine

Presented by Dr. Jennifer Klutsch
Co-authors: Shiyang (Violet) Zhao and Dr. Nadir Erbilgin

Abstract

We identified characteristics of anatomical and chemical defenses in lodgepole pine trees that are associated with resistance to mountain pine beetle (MPB) in its expanded range in Alberta. Trees having larger but fewer resin ducts showed higher survival probability compared to those with smaller but more abundant resin ducts annually. We also determined host suitability to MPB based on chemical profiles of lodgepole pine and found the concentration and proportion of important monoterpenes were predictors of MPB performance. Screening for these defense traits may be a tool for identifying trees with important resistance factors against MPB.

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Presenter Bio

Jennifer Klutsch

Jennifer Klutsch is a postdoctoral researcher working with Dr. Nadir Erbilgin at the University of Alberta. Her current research examines variation in tree defenses and identifies biomarkers for trees resilient to emerging insect pests and climate change threats as part of the Resilient Forests: Climate, Pests & Policy – Genomic Applications project. While at University of Alberta, she also worked to improve monitoring tools to detect mountain pine beetle at low population densities in the eastern edge of beetle expansion into the boreal forest.

Co-author Bios

Violet Zhao

Shiyang (Violet) Zhao has recently earned a PhD in forest biology and management, supervised by Dr. Nadir Erbilgin, and has started new position as a wildlife biologist with the Canadian Wildlife Service. Her doctoral research focused on the health conditions of residual overstory lodgepole pine trees in post-mountain pine beetle stands and how resin duct-based anatomical defenses relate to the survival of residual pine trees. When she is not glued to her laptop and microscope, she really enjoys outdoor activities and travelling.

Nadir Erbilgin

Dr. Nadir Erbilgin is Professor of Forest Entomology and Chemical Ecology in the Department of Renewable Resources at the University of Alberta-Edmonton. He received his Ph.D. in entomology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was a postdoctoral research fellow  at the University of California-Berkeley, and joined the faculty at the University of Alberta as a Canada Research Chair in 2007. He has developed a broad and diversified expertise in entomology and pathology, chemical ecology, plant biology, and soil microbiology. His research group characterizes the changes in tree conditions as well as in soil microbial community in response to biotic and abiotic stressors and how these changes in turn affect the health of forests. . He uses the invasion of the lodgepole pine and jack pine forests by the mountain pine beetle as his study system. Currently, he leads one NSERC-SPG on “Using the functional traits of soil fungi to improve post-disturbance pine regeneration” and co-leads a Genome Canada project on “Resilient forests (RES-FOR): Climate, pests & policy-Genomic Applications”. Nadir Erbilgin was a recipient of a Canada Research Chair Award from the Government of Canada. He has trained five postdoctoral researchers, 10 doctoral students, 19 Master’s students, 16 undergraduate students, and hosted several visiting graduate and undergraduate students from China, Germany, Spain, and Italy.


December 8: Refining MPB Attractants for Detection in an Expanded Range

Presented by Dr. Jennifer Klutsch
Co-author: Dr. Nadir Erbilgin

Abstract

We refined a semiochemical-based detection and monitoring tools for mountain pine beetle (MPB) in its expanded range in north central Alberta. We identified an efficient deployment configuration of trap trees baited with an optimized lure in Alberta. Also, by varying release rates of female MPB aggregation pheromone and tree volatiles on traps set up in areas with different local MPB densities, we found that low densities of MPB were more attracted to higher release rates of pheromone compared to areas with relatively greater MPB densities. We demonstrate that beetles at sub-outbreak levels can assess available cues to ensure successful host colonization depending on their density and the flight period. These studies identify that by refining tools used in MPB historical range we can more efficiently detect and monitor MPB at low densities in Alberta.

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Presenter Bio

Jennifer Klutsch

Jennifer Klutsch is a postdoctoral researcher working with Dr. Nadir Erbilgin at the University of Alberta. Her current research examines variation in tree defenses and identifies biomarkers for trees resilient to emerging insect pests and climate change threats as part of the Resilient Forests: Climate, Pests & Policy – Genomic Applications project. While at University of Alberta, she also worked to improve monitoring tools to detect mountain pine beetle at low population densities in the eastern edge of beetle expansion into the boreal forest.

Co-author Bio

Nadir Erbilgin

Dr. Nadir Erbilgin is Professor of Forest Entomology and Chemical Ecology in the Department of Renewable Resources at the University of Alberta-Edmonton. He received his Ph.D. in entomology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was a postdoctoral research fellow  at the University of California-Berkeley, and joined the faculty at the University of Alberta as a Canada Research Chair in 2007. He has developed a broad and diversified expertise in entomology and pathology, chemical ecology, plant biology, and soil microbiology. His research group characterizes the changes in tree conditions as well as in soil microbial community in response to biotic and abiotic stressors and how these changes in turn affect the health of forests. . He uses the invasion of the lodgepole pine and jack pine forests by the mountain pine beetle as his study system. Currently, he leads one NSERC-SPG on “Using the functional traits of soil fungi to improve post-disturbance pine regeneration” and co-leads a Genome Canada project on “Resilient forests (RES-FOR): Climate, pests & policy-Genomic Applications”. Nadir Erbilgin was a recipient of a Canada Research Chair Award from the Government of Canada. He has trained five postdoctoral researchers, 10 doctoral students, 19 Master’s students, 16 undergraduate students, and hosted several visiting graduate and undergraduate students from China, Germany, Spain, and Italy.


December 15: Population Dynamics and Spread Factors

Presented by Dr. Allan Carroll
Co-author: Stan Pokorny

Abstract

Coming soon.

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Presenter Bio

Allan Carroll

Dr. Carroll is a Professor of Insect Ecology, Director of the Forest Sciences Program, and Head of the Forest Insect Ecology Lab in the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia. Allan’s current research interests centre on the impacts of climate change on the dynamics of eruptive forest insect populations. The main focus of his research during the past 20 years has been on the population dynamics, impacts and management of the mountain pine beetle.

Co-author Bio

Stan Pokorny

Stanley Pokorny is a PhD Candidate in the Forest Insect Disturbance Ecology Lab (FIDEL) at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver Campus.  Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and raised in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, he spent his youth camping, hiking, and skiing in the Grand Teton and Gros Ventre mountain ranges.  Stanley moved to Vancouver in 2007 to attend UBC as an undergraduate, graduated in 2011, and immediately began working in the forestry sector.  During his time as a forestry professional, Stanley maintained contact with Dr. Allan Carroll in the hope of eventually working together on a post-graduate research project.  In 2014, with the establishment of TRIA-Net, that opportunity manifested and Stanley returned to UBC to pursue an MSc but decided to transfer to a PhD program soon after.  Stanley’s research is focused on using the mountain pine beetle system to improve our understanding of how climate change will affect the distribution and abundance of species in the near future.  Specifically, he is interested in the potential for mountain pine beetle to integrate into recently invaded habitats and the long-term threat posed to the Canadian Boreal Forest.  


January 12: Genes Matter

Presented by Dr. Rhiannon Peery
Co-authors: Dr. Catherine Cullingham and Dr. Janice Cooke

Abstract

During the most recent mountain pine beetle (MPB) outbreak, MPB underwent an unprecedented range expansion into novel habitats. The historic range of MPB has been defined through modeling climate variables and MPB natural history. However, these and other models such as spread-risk models, fail to take into account genetic information, including host susceptibility. The aim of our study was to determine if host genotype can be used to inform the boundaries of the historic range of MPB and to see if tree genotype has an influence on host survival. After accounting for climatic factors, we found significant genetic differences between host trees within the historic range in comparison to the expanded range. To determine if host genotype influences survival we sampled from within the historic range at the peak of the outbreak. To investigate differences in host genotypes along the leading edge of the outbreak, where hosts were naïve, we sampled paired attack and un-attacked host trees. We have identified several candidate loci related to host survival. The influence of host genotype is an understudied component of modeling historically impacted stands and future spread-dynamics. Our findings can help inform past and present distributions as well as predict potential future expansions of MPB.

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Presenter Bio

Rhiannon Peery

Dr. Rhiannon Peery is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta. Dr. Peery received her BSc and MSc from Central Washington University and earned her PhD at the University of Illinois in the Department of Plant Biology. Her research experience ranges from phylogeography and systematics to genome evolution. Dr. Peery started working on the mountain pine beetle system almost five years ago as part of the TRIA-Net, TRIA-Net: Turning Risk Into Action for the Mountain Pine Beetle Epidemic, research group in the labs of Dr. Janice Cooke and Dr. David Coltman. Her work at University of Alberta has focused on the relationship between host genetics and susceptibility to pests and pathogens and developing computational resources for management and analysis of genomic data.

Co-author Bios

Catherine Cullingham

Dr. Catherine Cullingham is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at Carleton University. She received her BSc from the University of Guelph, and earned her PhD at Trent University. From there she completed her postdoctoral work at the University of Alberta. Her research uses landscape genetics and population genomics to fill knowledge gaps and develop tools that can be applied to issues in forestry and wildlife management. She has been working on the mountain pine beetle system for over 10 years, and has contributed to confirming host-expansion to jack pine, redefining the spatial complexity of the lodgepole x jack pine hybrid zone, and identifying genetic markers potentially associated with MPB resilience. Dr. Cullingham is a member of the editorial board for the Canadian Journal of Forest Research, and sits on the Terrestrial Mammals Specialist Subcommittee for the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.

Janice Cooke

Janice Cooke is a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta. Janice received her BSc from the University of Victoria, and worked as a technician at the Weyerhaeuser Technology Centre before returning to school to complete her PhD at the University of Alberta. She went on to a postdoc at the University of Florida, and was a research associate at Université Laval before arriving at the University of Alberta in 2005. She has been involved in forest biology research for over 25 years. For the last 17 years, Janice has been using genomics technologies to better understand how trees respond to their environment. Janice was the director of the NSERC Strategic Network: TRIA-Net: Turning Risk Into Action for the Mountain Pine Beetle Epidemic. This broadly focused research initiative embraced universities from across the country and scientists and graduate students working in specific fields of research in support of managing and controlling mountain pine beetle. Outcomes of her genomic research are being explored for purposes of increasing the resistance of pines to future outbreaks of the beetle.


January 19: Our Future Forests

Presented by Dr. Ellen Macdonald

Abstract

The unprecedented outbreak of mountain pine beetle (MPB) in Alberta presents us with the substantial challenge of understanding how this unique disturbance will influence forest regeneration and succession, and deciding upon post- attack management for affected forests.

We examined the potential for post-MPB natural regeneration of lodgepole pine and other trees for a variety of pine-dominated ecosite types in west-central Alberta. Lodgepole pine regeneration is very low or absent across the range of sites but drier and poorer ecosite types, and stands with pre-existing pine or spruce advance regen, had slightly better pine regeneration. Richer sites and those with broadleaf advance regeneration, competing ground vegetation, and live overstory were negatively associated with pine regeneration. Other tree species, including black and white spruce and trembling aspen or balsam poplar, were found to be regenerating in forests post-MPB, but in relatively low densities. A lack of suitable microsites, low seed availability, and competing vegetation are likely the greatest barriers to natural regeneration in post-MPB forests.

We conclude that untreated lodgepole pine forests post-MPB will display low levels of regeneration and/or a regeneration lag. The regions of most concern are the Lower and Upper Boreal Highlands, which represent a large area of merchantable pine and that had higher levels of MPB-caused mortality. We examined the effectiveness of partial harvesting and site preparation for facilitating natural regeneration of lodgepole pine in post-MPB forests. Decayed wood is the most favourable microsite for pine establishment, but it has very low availability. Partial harvesting slightly improved levels of pine natural regeneration. Mixing was found to be the best site preparation treatment, as compared to mounding or scalping. We produced a field guide to aid managers in making decisions about treatment options for forests post-MPB. A short summary of the entire project is available in the form of a virtual field tour: https://youtu.be/3O0AfUpViT0

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Presenter Bio

Discussions during the workshop.

Dr. Ellen Macdonald is a Professor of Forest Ecology at the University of Alberta. She obtained her BSc in Environmental Biology and PhD in Plant Ecology from the University of Calgary. She joined the Department of Forest Science as an Assistant Professor in 1989 and has since served as Associate Chair (Planning & Priorities), Associate Dean in the Faculty of Graduate Studies & Research, and Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences and is now Chair of the Department of Renewable Resources. She teaches Forest Ecology and has taught Restoration Ecology, Environmental Assessment, and graduate-level statistics, among other subjects. She has taught at Spring Field School almost every year since 1989. For the past 30 years her research has focused on the ecology of northern forests - particularly forest regeneration, stand dynamics, understory plant communities and relationships among these. Much of her work has examined the impacts of natural and anthropogenic disturbance. 


January 26: Under What Conditions Should We Use Mycorrhizal Inoculum to Restore Our Forests

Presented by Dr. Justine Karst

Abstract

Seedling establishment is a critical step in the recovery of beetle-killed stands. Of the many organisms that interact with seedlings, mycorrhizal fungi are important because they mediate resource uptake from soils. However, extensive tree mortality caused by mountain pine beetle can change the community composition of mycorrhizal fungi in ways that influence seedling establishment. Towards understanding the role of ectomycorrhizal fungi in rehabilitating beetle-killed stands, we tested the use of soil inoculum to improve lodgepole pine seedling performance in beetle-killed stands. We found that at best, inoculation provides no benefit to seedlings, and at worst, may harm seedlings. As a result, we do not advocate for its use in rehabilitation of beetle-killed stands.

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Presenter Bio

Justine Karst

Justine Karst is an Associate Professor and NSERC Industrial Research Chair in restoration ecology at the University of Alberta. Justine studies linkages between above and belowground components of forests. Her interests include mycorrhizal ecology, community ecology, and disturbance ecology.


February 2: Putting Genomics to Work

Presented by Dr. Catherine Cullingham

Abstract

Population genetic approaches have helped to fill a number of important knowledge gaps in the mountain pine beetle system. By examining pine hosts, we have provided early detection of attacked jack pine in the lodgepole pine × jack pine hybrid zone, and we have refined the ranges of these species for use in managing forest resources. But how can we operationalize genomic data – the understanding of the structure, function and evolution of an organism’s genome – for forest management? While selective breeding is an obvious route, it will only be beneficial in the longer-term. Rather, I will show once we identify and validate genomic information associated with host resilience, we can generate spatial data for these resilience markers at a landscape level. These visualizations can be utilized in short-term decisions regarding the management of current forested landscapes.

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Presenter Bio

Catherine Cullingham

Dr. Catherine Cullingham is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at Carleton University. She received her BSc from the University of Guelph, and earned her PhD at Trent University. From there she completed her postdoctoral work at the University of Alberta. Her research uses landscape genetics and population genomics to fill knowledge gaps and develop tools that can be applied to issues in forestry and wildlife management. She has been working on the mountain pine beetle system for over 10 years, and has contributed to confirming host-expansion to jack pine, redefining the spatial complexity of the lodgepole x jack pine hybrid zone, and identifying genetic markers potentially associated with MPB resilience. Dr. Cullingham is a member of the editorial board for the Canadian Journal of Forest Research, and sits on the Terrestrial Mammals Specialist Subcommittee for the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.


February 9: MPB Effects on Fire: what do we know?

Presented by Dr. Chris Stockdale

Abstract

Are areas that have been attacked by MPB more likely to burn than areas that have not been attacked by MPB? We addressed this question using fire, mountain pine beetle infestation, and forest harvesting information in the province of British Columbia between the years 2001-2018. We compiled BC’s Aerial Overview Survey data to determine where MPB attack has occurred, and then overlaid all fires from 2001-2018. We developed a fire likelihood metric to weight locations based on using historical fire data, and then compared the rate of expected fire occurrence between areas attacked (or not attacked) by MPB across the landscape to the observed rate of fire occurrence.

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Presenter Bio

Chris Stockdale

Chris Stockdale is a Wildfire Research and Extension Scientist for the Canadian Forest Service at the Northern Forestry Centre in Edmonton Alberta. He received a BSc (Honours) in Biology from the University of Victoria in 1998, a MSc in Forest Ecology from Oregon State University in 2001, and his PhD in Forest Biology and Management from the University of Alberta in 2016. His research has covered stand dynamics following mountain pine beetle attack, interactions between mountain pine beetle and fire, historical fire regimes, ecological change, and his current research focuses primarily on wildfire risk modelling.


February 16: How Research has Made a Difference in Managing/ Controlling the Beetle

Presented by Erica Samis

Abstract

Coming soon. 

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Presenter Bio

Erica Samis

Erica Samis began working seasonally for ESRD in 1997. In 1998 she began working as the Forest Health Officer for the then Northern East Slopes Region which is approximately the Edson and Whitecourt Forest Areas now. In 2006 she moved to Provincial Headquarters in Edmonton to work on developing the Provincial MPB Program.  She became the Director of the Forest Health and Adaptation Section in fall of 2014.  The Forest Health and Adaptation Section monitors biotic and abiotic forest damage agents, conducts tree breeding programs and manages forest genetic resources.



 

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