People Need Lakes and Lakes Need People

After Hurricane Florence hit the southeast coast last month, Claytor Lake, hundreds of miles away in southwestern Virginia, took a hit.  More than fifteen tons of debris ended up in the lake – everything from the usual ‘flotsam and jetsam’ to at least one toilet, a mannequin, and an empty boat.

This part of Virginia is not home to very many lakes, and ...

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New Course for Fall 2017: The Science and Policy of Invasions

A new team-taught course will be offered this fall at Virginia Tech!

The Science and Policy of Invasions (GRAD 6984; Special Topics; 3 credits)

The class will meet once per week during Fall Semester 2017; Time TBD

Jacob Barney (, Bryan Brown (, David Haak (, Erin Hotchkiss (, and Scott Salom (

Invasive species are one of the five elements of global change that shape ecosystem structure and function worldwide. This course will take a “deep ...

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Jacob Barney briefs congressional staffers on the benefits and risks of biofuel crops

From VT News

BLACKSBURG, Va., Feb. 19, 2016 – A Virginia Tech invasive plant expert will be briefing congressional staff members on Monday on the best ways to increase the use of plants for biofuels without sowing an environmental nightmare in the process.

While plants used for biofuels are a vital part of a growing need to create more forms of alternative energy, careless planting of them can lead to an unwanted invasion of exotic plants that ...

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Research team including Jacob Barney receives $5 million USDA grant to combat invasive plant

Jacob BarneyAssistant Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology, Physiology & Weed Science at Virginia Tech, is part of a research team that recently received a USDA grant to study the invasive weed, Johnsongrass.

From UGA Today

“A team of researchers led by faculty at the University of Georgia have received a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to find new ways of combating Johnsongrass, one of the most widespread and troublesome agricultural weeds in the world.

Native ...

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Jacob Barney’s Biological Invasions class enjoys an Invasive Species Banquet

From VT News: 

BLACKSBURG, Va., Dec. 10, 2015 – Rose Peterson of Norfolk, Virginia, was recently whipping up some pesto, which is generally made with basil, pine nuts, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese.

But the Virginia Tech senior skipped the basil and instead substituted garlic mustard, a common weed that is one of many invasive plants that are not only ubiquitous, but also delicious.

“Garlic mustard grows commonly in lawns,” said Peterson, who harvested some from her aunt’s house ...

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