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NAISMA Webinar: The Dilemma for Control of Invasive Species: Incorrect Terms Limit Our Capacity to Respond

December 20 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


Presented by Neil Anderson, B.S., M.S., Ph.D.

Abstract – In a perfect world, definitions of plant responses in the environment are treated as absolutes. Yet we acknowledge the genetic and environmental responses that phenotypes have during evolution, namely plasticity, pose difficulties in decision-making for land managers. Our terminology needs to follow suit to avoid presumptive jargon creating misfits in our understanding for land management. We will examine sets of absolutist, oppositional terminology that obstruct invasive species research, using a native yet invasive species as a framework (Phalaris arundinacea): native/exotic and invasive/non-invasive, etc. By refocusing our lenses, a taxon should be regarded in terms of its capacity to establish and spread and the potential threat(s) it poses to natural and/or managed landscapes. In other words, view each taxon as a species, rather than associated labels that divert its potential to drain resources for potential control. Re-examination for potential control (yes/no) requires that each land-holding interest group (federal, state or provincial; Tribal; local authorities; private landowners) differentially shift their land managers’ perspectives and approaches for control. Regulatory agents will, likewise, need to reformulate particular legislation for control of a native invasive species that had been previously assumed as exotic or foreign in origin.

Speaker Bio –
Dr. Neil Anderson is a Full Professor and J. William Fulbright Scholar, directing the Herbaceous Ornamental Breeding Program for the University of Minnesota. He assumes the role of Interim Head for the Department of Horticultural Science in February 2023. Neil is an internationally recognized expert in plant reproductive biology, invasive species biology, geophytes, rapid generation cycling crops, tissue culture, molecular biology, plant breeding and genetics. He has developed and released numerous commercial cultivars and is an expert in intellectual property. Neil is also a recognized plant expert in breeding &
domestication and a plant explorer, having collected wild species of ornamental interest across the globe. His research focus is primarily on breeding winter-hardy herbaceous perennials for ornamental value as well as green pesticides (pyrethrum); complementary research / outreach includes hydroponics, aquaponics, controlled environments, and preventing invasiveness of ornamental crops during domestication. His program releases many cultivars with Intellectual Property filings around the world. His research and expertise in controlled environmental agriculture complement outreach activities across Minnesota in the Research and Outreach Centers. Dr. Anderson leads a large team of research scientists, graduate and undergraduate students. He teaches a wide range of online and live horticulture classes in Floral Design, Greenhouse Crop Scheduling and Spring Flowering Bulbs. He is also the Coordinator for the Horticulture Minor.

Webinar: The Dilemma for Control of Invasive Species: Incorrect Terms Limit Our Capacity to Respond


December 20
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm