Learning to quickly adapt to the threat of climate change

Jun 5, 2017

Plants and trees are rooted in place and can’t leave their environment when faced with adversity. Instead, they wage a chemical warfare, of sorts, to battle drought, insects, pests and a changing climate. University of Alberta professor Dr. David Wishart, a pioneer in metabolomics research, is contributing his expertise to a new project about plants, trees and climate change.

The study of plant and tree metabolites will help Wishart and his colleagues understand the chemical shields these forest dwellers use to adapt to their changing environment. Metabolites are molecular biomarkers—or by–products—of an organism’s metabolism. In this study, researchers will extract and analyze metabolites from within sap, leaves and needles.

Dr. Barb Thomas is leading the project, which is called Resilient Forests: climate, pests and policy – genomic applications.

To learn more, listen to the full-length interview on the Innovation Anthology podcast with Cheryl Croucher, sponsored by Alberta Innovates.