Invasive and native insect pests present multi-million dollar threats to forestry in Canada and abroad. The invasive Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) was discovered in Nova Scotia in 2017, and represents a significant threat to old-growth Hemlock forests throughout Nova Scotia. Hemlock forests are a dominant stand type that is particularly representative of this ecoregion. Kejimkujik National park protects large tracts of hemlock, including the best examples of this late-successional, closed-canopy, old growth conifer forest that was once much more widely distributed throughout the Maritimes. Hemlock is a foundation species supporting high levels of biodiversity, essential to the ecological integrity of Kejimkujik. In addition, the hemlock forests shade and cool the rivers and streams of Kejimkujik, mitigating against higher temperatures and increased storm flashiness resulting from climate change. Mortality of old growth hemlock forests in Nova Scotia will release high levels of stored carbon, contributing to greenhouse gases and climate change.
This project will work to develop a response for management of this species, including silvicultural, chemical, and biological control tactics. This will include efficacy testing of mitigation techniques and assessment of community impacts from such strategies. We are recruiting a candidate to coordinate the management response and environmental impacts studies of this invasive species on Nova Scotian forests. Specifically, we will investigate biodiversity shifts in stands with HWA, and those treated with insecticidal treatments. The candidate will be provided with extensive skill training in ecology, biodiversity, and invasives species management. These are all highly marketable skills and translatable into research and industrial sectors. The position will be mentored by Dr. N. Kirk Hillier (Biology, Acadia University).
Assist professor in the experimentation on insects. In particular, the student will be responsible for coordinating research related to the impact of Hemlock Wooley Adelgid and management tactics such as biological control agents and insecticidal treatments. The candidate will have primary duties in implementation of three objectives (1) coordinating the response between multiple government agencies and Acadia University (2) documenting biodiversity in study plots via trapping studies; and (3) field testing control tactics and evaluating the impact on Hemlock stand health.