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Sharon Gillies

Sharon Gillies

Associate Professor

Biology

Abbotsford campus, B324

Phone: 604-504-7441 ext.4371

email Sharon

Education

BSc Biology (Simon Fraser University)

PhD Plant Physiology (Simon Fraser University)

Research Interests

After completing my PhD at Simon Fraser University, I did Post-Doctoral research at the Agassiz Agriculture and Agri-food Canada Research Centre doing postharvest physiology research of fruits and vegetables.  

In addition to first year I teach: BIO 210 Ecology, BIO 307 Plant anatomy and diversity, BIO 308 Plant Physiology, BIO 410 Plant Ecology, and BIO 430 Forest Ecology.   

I have always been interested in plants and I am currently researching a plant I call “Godzilla”.  Originally from Japan, Japanese knotweed is a monster. With underground rhizomes capable of breaking through asphalt, as this photo of a road in Fort Langley shows, and the ability to regrow from just a few centimeters of stem, it is now considered of the top ten worst invasive species in many areas.  Together with biology faculty members Alida Janmaat and Alan Reid we are researching the biology of this invasive shrub.  We have now determined that Japanese knotweed in the Fraser Valley is hybridizing with Giant knotweed, and the hybrid is even more of a problem as it can produce viable seed, making it easier to spread. 

Alida Janmaat, Steven Marsh, and I are members of the Global Rivers Observatory network (http://www.globalrivers.org/).  Together with student assistants, we monitor the water quality of the Fraser River and collaborate with the Fraser River Discovery Centre on the My River My Home exhibition (http://fraserriverdiscovery.org/currentexhibits.htm).  Coordinated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=19735), this project has collaborators from around the world. The data we collect will give us some insight into the role of rivers in the transport of carbon to the ocean.

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