A biogeographical Approach to Species Selection for Restoration Projects in the Alpine and Atlantic regions of Europe

ESR 1A – Emma Ladouceur

I completed a Bachelor degree of Urban and Regional Planning from Ryerson University, a Certificate of Environmental Management from the University of Toronto and worked as an Environmental Planner for 5 years in the City of Toronto. In 2012, I completed an MSc in Conservation Biology from the University of Queensland (UQ) in Brisbane, Australia with the Margaret Mayfield Community Ecology Lab and conducted native grassland restoration treatment trials in central Queensland, Australia on a coal mine site. Since then I have worked with both University of Queensland school of geography, biology and the centre for mined land rehabilitation (CMLR) and with the Jennifer Firn research group at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in various roles including; full-time continuous field work, teaching, lab management, large project management, and research focused on grasslands restoration, weed invasion, mined land rehabilitation and monitoring. 

 After some experience with large-scale restoration, direct seeding and seed bank studies, I have become interested in the processes involved in pollination, seed dispersal, germination and dormancy as they relate to the regeneration niche, plant community ecology and biogeography in fragmented landscapes. 

I am interested in these topics because I want to be apart of extinction prevention and practical conservation research and action. My NASSTEC work takes a biogeographical approach to species selection to maximize grassland restoration outcomes across the alpine, Atlantic and continental regions of Europe. I am building an extensive database of species which are important to 5 grasslands of conservation concern across these regions, studying their regeneration niche related to seed germination, mapping biogeographic change in these communities, and developing novel approaches to species selection to maximize beneficial environmental services.  With a large amount of collaboration, cooperation and team work, I hope to build a highly useful practical online tool with this database which will assist the native seed production industry, restoration practitioners, and ecologists to plan restoration projects, produce and obtain appropriate bio-diverse seed mixtures across Europe. As in bio-diverse grasslands and community ecology, but also in team-work and networks, I strongly believe the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. I am excited to be apart of NASSTEC to achieve extraordinary outcomes for seed science and restoration ecology together.