MSI PIs Working to Combat Terrestrial Invasive Species

Ecology and Environment

Four MSI PIs recently were awarded grants to support their research as part of the University’s Minnesota Invasive Terrestrial Plants and Pests Center (MITPPC). The mission of the Center (from their website) is to “prevent and minimize the threats posed by terrestrial invasive plants, other weeds, pathogens, and pests in order to protect the state's prairies, forests, wetlands, and agricultural resources.”

The PIs are:

  • Neil Anderson (professor, Horticultural Science). The Anderson group uses MSI resources for their analyses of large datasets related to breeding and domesticating flower crops.
  • Jeannine Cavender-Bares (associate professor, Ecology, Evolution and Behavior). The Cavender-Bares group uses MSI to support their development of better methods for remotely sensing many dimensions of plant biodiversity, including functional, genotypic and phylogenetic measures of diversity.
  • George Heimpel (professor, Entomology). The Heimpel group uses MSI for individual-based modeling to simulate various scenarios involving sex determination in parasitoid wasps.
  • Peter Reich  (Regents professor, Forest Resources). The Reich group is using MSI for a project to develop a new, improved type of global land model. These models are used for climate research, and more accurate models allow for better predictions.

An article about the Center and their research appears on the OVPR’s Inquiry blog: Researchers Set Sights on Uprooting Land-Based Invasive Species. A complete list of grant awardees and descriptions of the projects appears on the MITPPC website.