NRESi Colloquium - CIF Sponsored Master's Afternoon

Friday, March 31, 2023 - 3:30pm
Room 7-212 and Online: (
Prince George

Cassandra Penfold, MSc CandidateCassandra Penfold, MSc. Candidate - Developing RNA interference (RNAi) as biocontrol for mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae)

  • In western North America, the mountain pine beetle (MPB) is the most destructive pest of pine trees.  It is likely that large-scale MPB outbreaks will recur
  • A naturally ocuring management pathway, ribonucleic acid interference (RNAi), can be used to silence targeted genes in insects by disrupting cellular function
  • The aim is to develop existing and new targets, and combinations thereof, for causing species-specific MPB mortality via RNAi

Maria Chadid Hernandez, PhD Candidate - Estimating carbon legacies under different harvesting practices in an inland temperate rainforest in British Columbia, Canada

  • Silviculture practices such as clearcutting have affected temperate rainforests in British Columbia, shifting their role from carbon sinks to carbon sources.  Partial harvest practicesMaria Chadid Hernandez, PhD Candidate have been proposed to mitigate some impacts of clearcutting
  • The main goal is to leave some pre-harvest biological legacies behind to provide "lifeboat" resources for carbon and biodiversity that lead to faster ecosystem recovery
  • This research aims to quantify the long-term effects of partial harvest and clearcutting on carbon dynamics and determine how fast carbon stocks recover from two different partial harvest systems.

Hariharan Sendamangalam Varudaraju, MSc Candidate - Effects of changing environmental conditions on glyphosate degradation and melatonin production in wild strawberries

  • Glyphosate is a systemic, broad-spectrum herbicide commonly used in Canadian forests to control competitive vegetation.  Aerial application results in non-target organism sublethal exposure and defoHariharan Sendamangalam Varudaraju, MSc. Candidatermities in their morphology. Environmental conditions impact efficiency and degradation of glyphosate
  • We aim to find how the effects of the combination of temperature and photoperiod affect the plant stress response to glyphosate application and which combination supports the faster degradation of glyphosate and its secondary metabolites in wild strawberries

The Natural Resources & Environmental Studies Institute (NRESi) at UNBC hosts a weekly lecture series at the Prince George campus. Anyone from the university or wider community with interest in the topic area is welcome to attend. Presentations are also made available to remote participants through Zoom Webinar. Go to to view the presentation remotely.

Past NRESi colloquium presentations and special lectures can be viewed on our video archive, available here.

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