TRU professor named to College of New Scholars

Cynthia Ross Friedman was one of 91 inaugural members named to the College of New Scholars by the Royal Society of Canada. (Thompson Rivers University)

Cynthia Ross Friedman was one of 91 inaugural members named to the College of New Scholars by the Royal Society of Canada. (Thompson Rivers University)

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.