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January 14, 2022

Kurt Kowalski to make invited presentation

Dr. Kurt Kowalski (GLSC, Ann Arbor, Michigan) will give an invited presentation, “Developing new Phragmites treatments based on genetic and microbial biotechnology,” at Canada’s 1st National Phragmites Conference (virtual), January 20, 2022. This conference is hosted by the Canadian Council on Invasive Species, Ontario Invasive Plant Council, and the Ontario Phragmites Working Group and will help participants better understand the state and spread of “Canada’s worst invasive plant,” Phragmites australis, and it’s impacts on species at risk, habitats, communities, and infrastructure across Canada in the face of a changing climate. Dr. Kowalski’s presentation will highlight the collaborative research efforts of USGS, US Army Corps of Engineers, Rutgers University, Tulane University, Louisiana State University, and other partners that is supporting development of innovative new management treatments focused on a natural plant defense mechanism that limits the expression of certain genetic traits and a second approach seeking to disrupt the symbiotic relationships between invasive Phragmites plants and their microbiome (e.g., bacteria, fungi) as a way to harm the plant. Advancements in biotechnology research are stimulating the development of new treatment options for resource managers targeting invasive Phragmites.