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Dr. Sally Aitken: Will my forest look good in these genes? | La génétique au secours des forêts canadiennes
January 30, 2014 @ 7:15 am - 8:15 am
Sally Aitken, University of British Columbia
Thursday January 30, 2014
As the climate changes, the health of Canadian forests is in decline, threatening Canada’s wood supply, impacting jobs, and decreasing the ability of forests to play their role in maintaining global temperatures by storing vast quantities of carbon. To help maintain forest health, Dr. Sally Aitken looks to harness the large amounts of genetic diversity found in Canada’s native trees. We can use this natural genetic variation to adapt managed forests to climate change while maintaining wood and fiber production, carbon storage, and forest habitat. New genomic tools, combined with traditional forestry, are generating methods for selecting tree seed sources that will result in healthier, more productive future forests.
Dr. Sally Aitken is Professor of Forest Genetics in the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia (UBC). After completing her PhD at the University of California, Berkeley, and joining the faculty at Oregon State University, Dr. Aitken was recruited back to her alma mater, UBC, to hold an NSERC Industrial Research Chair. She works with government and industry to apply knowledge from forest genetics research to forest management policies, tree breeding, and genetic conservation. She received the Canadian Forestry Scientific Achievement Award from the Canadian Institute of Forestry in 2009 and the UBC Killam Teaching Award in 2010.