UNBC professor studying effects of glyphosate on northern B.C. forests

With the help of more than $280,000 in grant funding, a University of Northern British Columbia professor is studying the long-term ecological impacts of glyphosate-based herbicide on forests in northern B.C.

Ecosystem Science and Management Assistant Professor Dr. Lisa Wood said she and her students are currently focused on plant responses to both climate-induced stress and herbicide-induced stress.

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"Since glyphosate-based herbicides have been used for decades in B.C. forests, and largely in the interior and northern portions of the province, and due to the importance of forests to our regional land-base, UNBC is the perfect centre for this type of research," she says.

"The local community is very interested in the topic, and many organizations are keeping close tabs on what my lab is up to."

Wood and her collaborators received a total of $281,726 from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. Of that, $149,226 will purchase three new state-of-the-art growth chambers for controlled experimentation.

"These units can be used to control the environmental conditions for organisms, to test response to stimuli," Wood explains. "We expect to have them in place by the end of this year, and will be pursuing a project that looks at how the intensity and duration of glyphosate-based herbicide actions are altered by changes in environment."

The remaining $132,500 will be used to support Wood's research as well as multiple graduate and undergraduate research projects.

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