Montana State University

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LRES Seminar Series

Monday, November 19, 2012, from 1:10pm to 2:00pm
Leon Johnson Hall, Room 346

Dr. Sharlene Sing USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station, Bozeman, MT will present a seminar entitled "Biological Control of Exotic Toadflax (Linaria spp.): Matching Agent and Target Weed Genotypes".

Dr. Sing has been a research entomologist at the Rocky Mountain Research Station in Bozeman since 2008, and is also an affiliate faculty member with the Department of Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences at Montana State University. She is currently involved in a range of collaborative studies with the overall objective of improving the efficacy and safety of classical weed biological control.  One of her ongoing studies to further understand shortfalls in realized biological control of exotic toadflax will determine if toadflax biocontrol agents exhibit differential responses to yellow x Dalmatian toadflax hybrids vs. either of the parental toadflax species.  The recently confirmed hybridization of these exotic weeds under field conditions potentially affects agents both behaviorally (in terms of host location and acceptance) and biologically (in terms of reproductive success). She has developed a host plant test list and participating in host selectivity testing with members of the North American Toadflax Consortium to identify and gain approval for the release of one or more new yellow toadflax biocontrol agents. Much of her research is undertaken to parameterize comparative risk assessments for selecting optimally safe and effective invasive weed management strategies. Dr. Sing is also involved in long-term monitoring projects, including ecological and biocontrol studies on saltcedar, and evaluating the potential for integrating herbicide treatments and biological control of Dalmation toadflax on prescribed burn treated rangeland. New studies will focus on potential effects of climate change on weed biocontrol efficacy, and surveying and evaluating the ecological impacts of aquatic weeds to assess their potential as classical biological control targets.

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