TWU grad and environmentalist Emma Nikkel will be part of a research project looking at invasive species to the region and how to potentially end them. (Special to Black Press Media)

TWU grad and environmentalist Emma Nikkel will be part of a research project looking at invasive species to the region and how to potentially end them. (Special to Black Press Media)

TWU-driven team researches threat of invasive species to Metro Vancouver

A Langley environmentalist will help lead a two-year study into cause, effect, and prevention

A Langley graduate is helping Metro Vancouver tackle invasive plant species through summer research at TWU.

This summer, Emma Nikkel is working with a team of researchers led by Trinity Western University’s Dr. David Clements to better understand how new invasive plants may spread into Metro Vancouver and beyond.

“I love the outdoors and plants in particular!” said Nikkel, who graduated in 2015 from TWU with a bachelor of science in environmental studies.

Species listed as noxious weeds under B.C.’s weed control act pose a risk to the health and safety of people, animals, property, and the environment, she explained.

And, according to the Township of Langley, multiple invasive species exist in the area.

“I am really looking forward to delving into the species we’re focusing on, understanding how these invasive species are spreading, and determining the factors that are contributing to their spread,” Nikkel said about her upcoming research.

Nikkel has worked in several different positions within the environmental field, but a common theme has been “being hands-on and providing practical measures to improve the well-being of an ecosystem as a whole,” and that includes bettering the lives of humans, she said.

“My hope for this research is that it provides meaningful and practical information for local land managers, (helping them) to implement prevention and management strategies that actually make a difference,” said Nikkel.

“I hope to contribute to bridging the gap between scientific knowledge and research, and actual management efforts in the field.”

Clements, a professor of biology, said research will help Metro Vancouver and our other partners to be better prepared.

“As the pandemic has taught us, the more prepared we are for biological threats and the earlier we act on them, the better! There is little doubt that some of the plants we are studying will invade our area in the near future, and that climate change will play a role,” said Clements, a Green Beat columnist for Black Press Media.

According to the prof, climate change is expected to make it easier for invasive plant species to spread, particularly northward into Canada.

The B.C. Lower Mainland is vulnerable to invasive plants due to its favourable climate and diverse landscapes, he added.

The research team from TWU is working to develop the methodology for modelling habitat suitability under climate change for Metro Vancouver, incorporating the unique features of the region’s diverse landscape.

The data they gather will help governments develop tools and best practices for detecting, prioritizing, and managing outbreaks of invasive species, Clements said.

The study aims to model how invasive plants such as Brazilian elodea, European common reed, Dyer’s woad, shiny geranium, mouse ear hawkweed or water hyacinth may take advantage of climate change to establish and spread across the region.

This two-year study is funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Metro Vancouver Regional District, and provides scientific data to inform the Metro Vancouver’s land management strategies.

Two other partners will also help shape the project’s approach: the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and the Invasive Species Council of Metro Vancouver.

.


Have a story tip? Email: news@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

EnvironmentLangleyTrinity Western University

Just Posted

Students at ACSS and BGMS will start the school year in September with positive changes at their Aldergrove Campus. (Special to The Star)
Fit Core athletic centre to link Betty Gilbert and Aldergrove Secondary

Langley School District announced new courses such as guitar and digital technology for students

Douglas Denyer walks with his wife Dorothy, who passes away at 90. The long-time resident of Langley and Rotarian since 1984 turned 100 on June 16. He has two sons, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Celebrating ‘a beautiful life,’ Langley senior turns 100

‘I’ve always tried to help out everyone I can” Douglas Denyer says

Vancouver Giants will return to the ice on Oct. 8, hosting the Prince George Cougars at Langley Events Centre. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Giants will renew division rivalry with Cougars when season resumes in October

First game at Langley Events Centre since February of last year

A flower-bedecked memorial to one three people who died at the scene of a suspicious house fire in Langley stands outside the burnt-out house in the 19600 block of Wakefield Drive on Monday, June 29, 2020. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
First hearing for man charged in Langley triple homicide

Kia Ebrahimian faces three counts of second degree murder

Big Splash water park is located in Tsawwassen. (submitted photo)
Big Splash reopens Canada Day with changes to keep the water park ‘safe for everyone’

Executive Hotels & Resorts has owned and operated the attraction since 2017

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Most Read