Common buckthorn can have cascading damaging effects on natural flora and fauna, agriculture and public health. Not only does the shrub choke out native plants, but it is also the overwintering host for the soybean aphid, an invasive pest that damages soybean plants and spreads viruses to vegetable crops. In turn, the soybean aphid is food for the multi-colored Asian ladybeetle, an invasive insect that damages grapes, outcompetes native ladybeetles for food and habitat, and finds its way into the homes where it is both a nuisance and allergen. Our goal is to bring together all those affected by this invasive plant to determine how best to reduce its negative cascade of environmental and economic impacts. Tune in with Dr. Mary Gardiner of The Ohio State University - Wooster, Jennifer Hillmer of Cleveland Metorparks Natural Resources Division and Lisa Brush of the Stewardship Network for this informative upcoming webcast!
Dr. Mary Gardiner -Dr. Mary Gardiner is an Assistant Professor of Entomology and director of the Agricultural Landscape Ecology Laboratory at The Ohio State University - Wooster. Her research focuses on interactions between invasive and native insects and plants. Mary received her B.S. in Resource Ecology from the University of Michigan in 1999, her M.S. in Entomology from the University of Idaho in 2002 and PhD in Entomology from Michigan State University in 2008.
Jennifer Hillmer - Jennifer is the Invasive Plant Coordinator for the Cleveland Metroparks Natural Resources Division. An Ohio native, Hillmer has volunteered and worked for conservation organizations since graduating from The College of Wooster many years ago. She has held positions with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Natural Areas and Preserves, The Nature Conservancy, Ohio Chapter, and The Holden Arboretum. Her passion for hands-on stewardship and keen interest in plants combined naturally into an invasive plant career. Hillmer was a founding board member of the Ohio Invasive Plants Council and the Midwest Invasive Plant Network. In her spare time, she plays the cello in several local Cleveland ensembles and is active in the environmental stewardship of a spectacular lake in Quebec.
Lisa Brush - Lisa is the Executive Director of The Stewardship Network. Lisa has been leading collaborative conservation initiatives in the nonprofit environmental sector for over two decades. In her role as co-founder and Executive Director of The Stewardship Network she has engaged thousands of professionals and volunteers in identifying community and conservation needs of the 21st century and determining strategic support The Network can provide. She has managed and overseen grant projects from federal and state agencies, as well as family and private foundations. She has been involved in all aspects of organizational management including foundation/agency relationships, grant based project funding, budget tracking, contract negotiation, implementation, accountability, project reporting and staff and board development. Lisa has facilitated strategic planning sessions, focus groups, citizen task forces, community visioning sessions, and public involvement and feedback meetings with groups ranging in size from four to four hundred. Lisa emphasizes tried and true in-person methods of bringing people together augmented by the use of cutting edge online technology. Lisa serves on numerous boards of directors, has a BA in Science in Society from Wesleyan University, an MS from University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources and Environment, and is a graduate of Michigan State University's Great Lakes Leadership Academy.