All faculty, staff and students are cordially invited to a Science Seminar titled “The Ecology of Wavyleaf Basketgrass: A New Invasive Species in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic Region.” This event will be held Friday, March 25 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the CE Forum Ernst Center on the Annandale Campus. Dr. Vanessa Beauchamp, plant ecologist and associate professor at Towson University, will be the guest speaker. There will also be a meet and greet and light refreshments from 11:30 a.m. to 11:55 a.m.
Wavyleaf basketgrass (Oplismenus undulatifolius) was first discovered in the United States in 1996 in a state park outside of Baltimore. The grass has since spread to thousands of acres throughout Maryland and Virginia. Recent research by faculty and students at Towson University and Hood College has looked at seed production, dispersal and germination rates, competition with other native and exotic grass species, effects on forest food webs and ways to control its spread. They have also developed Project Wavyleaf, a citizen science initiative and accompanying cell phone app to allow the public to help with mapping the distribution and locating new populations of this potentially damaging invasive species.
Beauchamp is in the Department of Biological Sciences at Towson University. Her research focuses on disturbance ecology, forest succession, ecosystem restoration, and the ecology and impacts of invasive plant species.
This event is presented by the Science Seminar Committee; Math, Science, and Engineering Division; and the Annandale Campus Lyceum Committee.