Student and faculty attend forest health conference


Biology research student Adam Allen attended the 27th Annual Virginia Association of Forest Health Professionals (VAFHP) Conference with Dr. Christine Small. This year’s conference, held at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA, focused on emerging issues in forest health. State and federal forest researchers presented ongoing research on threats to Virginia forests such as the Emerald Ash Borer, a Chinese beetle first reported in Montgomery County, VA, in 2016. Spreading rapidly through our forests, the Ash Borer has caused nearly 100% mortality in all ash tree species. Conference presentations focused on replacement of ash by native forests trees, possible resistant ash genotypes, and chemical and structural management efforts. Other presentations focused on the development of early warning systems for forest pests, the value of fire in forest ecosystems, and biological control of invasive species.

Adam Allen is part of a Radford University research team currently conducting research on the emerald ash borer. With biology research students Stephen Ruppert and Brian Ditch, and faculty mentor Christine Small, the team is working to document ash trees in our region, assess the spread of this destructive beetle, investigate conditions that may reduce its impact, and search for genetically-resistant trees. The VAFHP conference provided an outstanding opportunity to learn about current research and to talk with forest health professionals.

Student conference attendance was supported by the RU Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (OURS), and faculty attendance was supported by the RU Biology Department.

Feb 12, 2019
Karen Powers