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Welcome to the 1st Annual Great Lakes Forest Health Showcase! Space is limited so if you plan to attend the event live please register early. For those of you not in the Sault Ste. Marie, ON region, consider remote attendance as we will broadcast the event LIVE. Unavailable during the date of the event? Register to receive a link to the uploaded recordings after the event!

There will be poster viewing and information booths during sign-in and breaks. Coffee, tea and light snacks will be available during break times. Lunch will be provided courtesy of BioForest/Lallemand Plant Care. Parking will be available on site, free of charge.



Building forest resilience through science communication and community action

Mackenzie DiGasparro, Program Development Coordinator, and Leah Hodgson, Communications Coordinator; Invasive Species Centre

Invasive species are a leading threat to biodiversity and Canadian forests. The Invasive Species Centre (ISC) is a non-profit organization that connects with partners and the community to facilitate knowledge transfer and spark conversation about the role individuals, partners and stakeholders play in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive species. ISC #scicomm initiatives include event hosting and participation, video resources, paper resources, and more, focusing on key threats such as hemlock woolly adelgid, oak wilt, and spotted lanternfly. Equipped with tools, knowledge, and a shared passion for the environment, together we can prevent the spread of invasive species and build a resilient future for our forests.


Forest Health Conditions in Ontario

Dan Rowlinson, Ontario Forest Health Monitoring Coordinator, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

In Ontario, forest health monitoring is carried out by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF). The program consists of a series of permanent sample plots combined with ground and aerial delineation surveys. MNRF’s partnership with the Canadian Forest Service has a very long rich history of providing frontline forest health information supported by proven scientific research and developed methodologies. Forest Health Conditions in Ontario is a summary of the provincial surveys in 2019. 

Forest Health Conditions in Michigan 

Simeon Wright, Forest Health Specialist, Michigan Department of Natural Resources 

This presentation will provide an update on insect and disease threats to Michigan’s forests. Learn more about the status of beech bark disease, emerald ash borer, Heterobasidion root disease, oak wilt, and other invasive and native pests and how some of Michigan’s many forest health partners are addressing these concerns.


Relationships between soil microbial communities and invasive plants in Ontario’s forests

Dr. Pedro Antunes, Professor and Canadian Research Chair, Department of Biology, Algoma University 

Exotic invasive species represent a major environmental disturbance with important ramifications to the economy and society. Governments in Canada and around the world have called for research to better understand and predict the risk and impacts of invasive species. A major concern is their long-term consequences to soil and plant health and ecosystem processes. The overarching goal of Professor Pedro M. Antunes’ research program is to understand the potential of exotic invasive species to establish and alter soil biotic diversity influencing plant community structure and ecosystem functioning. This talk will focus on how the soil biotic diversity and function present in forest communities can modulate exotic plant invasions. More specifically, it will investigate mechanisms whereby plant-microbial interactions can cause population declines of native and/or invasive plants. Such knowledge is expected to enhance our capacity to predict the risks and consequences of plant invasions, thereby contributing to the development of improved management practices aimed at preserving Canada’s natural ecosystems.

Forests and Water in a Changing Environment 

Jason Leach, Forest Hydrologist, Great Lakes Forestry Centre, Canadian Forest Service 

Forests and the water cycle are intimately linked. Environment changes, such as wildfire, forest harvesting and climate change, are impacting this relationship with consequences for both forest and water health. We will review some current research from the Great Lakes region focused on understanding forest-water interactions to inform sustainable management in a changing environment. 

A Novel Control of Buckthorn on the Landscape 

Allison Winmill, Technical Manager of Forestry and Tree Nurseries, Lallemand Plant Care

Lallemand Plant Care is a company providing microbial solutions concerning plant health on a global scale. Lallemand has been investigating the potential of a biological herbicide for management of non-native buckthorn species. Buckthorn is invasive to North American forests, outcompeting natural regeneration and therefore altering forest ecosystems at both the urban and landscape forestry levels. When applied to cut or girdled stems, the biological herbicide suppresses buckthorn stump sprouts. In research trials in Ontario and Quebec, application to cut stumps proved highly effective in forest understory invasions. Efficacy was also demonstrated by application to girdled stems in an urban forest scenario where buckthorn is the overstory species.



The Emerald Ash Borer in 2020: Update and Opportunities for Management 

Dr. Christian MacQuarrie, Research Scientist, Great Lakes Forestry Centre, Canadian Forest Service 

This presentation will provide an update on the status of emerald ash borer in Canada, details on the present status of the biological control program, and information on some of the research being done in Ontario towards better management of the insect. 

Beech Leaf Disease: A newly described forest disease in Canada and the US

Sylvia Greifenhagen, Program Forester – Pathology, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

Beech leaf disease was first described in the US in 2012 and reported in southwestern Ontario in 2018. This new disease affects American, European, and Oriental beech, causing leaf symptoms ranging from interveinal darkening and thickening of tissues to chlorosis, stunting, necrosis, and leaf curling. Mortality of understory beech and severe crown thinning of overstory trees are reported. A foliar nematode (Litylenchus crenatae mccannii) is consistently associated with leaf symptoms. Our studies focus on increasing understanding of the nematode and its role in beech leaf disease, and on determining the impact of the disease on our forests, alone and in combination with beech bark disease.

Determining the time of year when Ontario is most at risk of oak wilt establishment 

Dr. Sharon Reed, Forest Health Research Scientist and Program Lead, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry 

Oak wilt is an invasive disease first detected in the US during the 1940s and now present outside of Ontario’s border. The disease spreads when native sap beetles contaminated with the pathogen crawl across newly exposed sapwood. Different species of sap beetles transmit the pathogen in different regions of the US. We aim to identify the time of year when oak wilt transmission is most likely to occur so that municipalities, industry, and land managers can avoid wounding oaks when the risk of infection is highest. To do this, we are identifying which nitidulid species are attracted to fresh oak wounds across eastern Canada and determining the temperatures associated with their flight. 

Geographic and environmental variation in spruce budworm developmental physiology

Dr. Amanda Roe, Research Scientist, Great Lakes Forestry Centre, Canadian Forest Service (Other authors: Ashlyn Wardlaw, Kerry Perrault & Jean-Noel Candau, Great Lakes Forestry Centre, Canadian Forest Service)

Spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana - SBW) is a wide spread insect that is responsible for extensive defoliation throughout the North American boreal forest. SBW experiences cyclical population outbreaks and predicting SBW population dynamics is crucial for effective management. Much of our knowledge of SBW biology is derived from laboratory colonies, which may not be representative of wild populations. We show that populations of SBW vary in their development rate and diapause, contradicting long held assumptions of SBW life history and shows the need for regionally specific management plans.

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid in Southwest Michigan

Cheryl Nelson, Forest Health Response Team, Michigan Department of Natural Resources

HWA is currently found in four counties along Michigan’s southwestern shoreline. Learn about ways crews are surveying and treating for this major threat to our hemlocks along with the latest research updates.




Directions from Hwy 17E:

Follow Hwy 17 west to Sault Ste. Marie. Follow Trunk Rd southwest to Boundary Rd. Turn left onto Boundary Rd. Turn right onto Bennett Blvd. At the first set of lights, turn left onto Shannon Rd. Follow Shannon Rd south to Queen St E. Turn right onto Queen St. Algoma University will be on your right. 


Directions from the International Bridge:

Exit the Canadian Boarder Services Agency parking lot right onto Huron St. Follow the curve left onto Bay St. Continue on Bay St southeast until it curves northeast on Pim St. Take Pim St and turn right onto Queen St E. Follow Queen St E approximately 3 km. Algoma University will be on your left. 


Directions from Hwy 17N:

Follow Hwy 17 south to Sault Ste. Marie. Continue on Great Northern Rd south to Second Line E. Turn left. Second Line E will end at Black Road, merge right. Continue south on Black Rd to Trunk Rd. Go straight through the intersection at Black Rd and Trunk Rd onto Capp Ave. Turn right onto Shannon Rd. Follow Shannon Rd south to Queen St E. Turn right onto Queen St E. Algoma University will be on your right.



For further information regarding the event please contact Victoria Fewster at Victoria.Fewster@canada.ca or (705) 541-5518


Lunch Sponsored By



Presented By



Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry