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Lecture on Invasive Plant Species in Connecticut
Donna Ellis, senior extension educator in the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture at the University of Connecticut, will give a lecture on invasive plant species in Connecticut on Thursday, Nov. 15, at 5 p.m. in Mali II auditorium (Dana 202).
The lecture is free and open to the public, and faculty are welcome to invite their classes. The program is being hosted by Bin Zhu, assistant professor of biology in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Ellis, who has worked at the University of Connecticut for 22 years, has a BS in plant science from the University of Rhode Island and an MS in plant science from UConn. Ellis serves as co-chair of the Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group (CIPWG), a statewide organization whose mission is to provide invasive plant education. The Working Group convenes biennial symposia on invasive plants. She also is a member of the UConn Ornamental Plant Extension Team that presents two annual plant conferences, the Perennial Plant Conference for professional horticulturists and the Garden Conference for garden enthusiasts of all levels.
Ellis also is part of the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program and conducts IPM training programs for nurseries and garden centers. She teaches a course at UConn on agricultural and horticultural plant pests and is involved with educational outreach and applied research programs for insects, weeds, and plant pathogens, with an emphasis on invasive plants and biological control. Ellis initiated a Beetle Farmer Program in 2004 to train volunteers to raise beneficial insects as biological control agents for the invasive plant purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria). Together with the beetle farmers, more than 1.9 million beneficial beetles have been introduced in Connecticut for control of this invasive species. Since 2009, Ellis has collaborated with other scientists to release beneficial weevils for biological control of another invasive plant, mile-a-minute vine (Persicaria perfoliata).