A TRU professor in the department of biological sciences received recognition for her research on the reproductive capacity of a parasitic plant.
Cynthia Ross Friedman was named on Sept. 16 to the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists by the Royal Society of Canada for her research on the parasitic flowering plant, the dwarf mistletoe.
The College focuses on gathering professors from universities in multiple disciplines that have recent terminal degrees or PhDs. The benefit of having professors in multiple disciplines is so new ideas can be created by taking different approaches to certain issues.
“[It involves] thinking about advancing post-secondary education or higher learning in Canada and discussing the issues and opportunities that we have,” Ross Friedman said.
The dwarf mistletoe is found naturally in Canada and in B.C. Ross Friedman claimed the plant is worse than the pine beetle.
Her research was specific to the dwarf mistletoe infecting Lodgepole Pine trees in the province.
The dwarf mistletoe has a life cycle of around seven years. It produces seeds, which, after landing on a host, develop root-like structures that embed into the tissue of the tree. It’s the perfect parasite, as it can shoot seeds up to 20 meters to infect other hosts. There is an 80 per cent chance that infected trees will die, according to Ross Friedman.
Ross Friedman had 50 to 60 students over a period of 10 years working with her on the research.