Janice Cooke and Cathy Cunningham know their pine beetles. They have extensive experience studying mountain pine beetles, the damage they do to boreal forests, and what it takes to limit the spread of the beetle which is only the size of a grain of rice.
The research is critical right now as climate change and forest management practices have contributed to the unprecedented expansion of the mountain pine beetle into new habitats, including jack pine ranges of the boreal forest. Over the past two decades, mountain pine beetles, have already killed more than 20 million hectares of mainly lodgepole pine forests in western Canada and the spread into jack pine now offers a clear path across the country.
TRIA-FoR as the project is called, is led by the 2 researchers and will build extensively on their previous work. Janice is at the University of Alberta and Cathy is at Carleton University and they talked with freelance broadcaster Don Hill about the new project.
BTW, TRIA-FoR was one of two new Genome Alberta projects receiving 2020 LSARP funding and you can read the complete media release here