School of Biological Sciences Seminar Series

One step ahead: enemy release as an ongoing process for invasive plants


Prof Peter Kotanen Visiting Erskine


University of Toronto Mississagua, Ontario, Canada

Time & Place

Thu, 07 Mar 2019 12:00:00 NZDT in Putaio Koiora, Seminar Room 275

All are welcome


I will talk about our work with enemy release in non-native plants. For some years we've been investigating when non-native plants escape enemies (insects and pathogens) while invading new areas, and when they don't. We've looked at a number of factors, particularly spatial variation in attack. Most of the work is in Ontario, from the Great Lakes near Toronto up to James Bay in the subarctic. We've worked with a variety of species, but mostly in the Asteraceae including ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia), burdock (Arctium minus) and what we call Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense), known in NZ as Californian thistle.

Prof Kotanen is here on an Erskine Fellowship from 3 March to 12 April and welcomes further interaction on this or any other topic. He is based in room 235 in Julius von Haast, or email

Introduced by Dave Kelly