All the individual and mechanical efforts to stop or control invasive species won’t amount to much unless they’re accompanied by a coordinated scientific effort.  Intelligence can’t stop either the sudden or anticipated arrival of all invasive species, but it can certainly help prepare for some of them. My favourite example is the way Ontario joined other North American scientists and administrators to stem the effects of Asian soybean rust.

Now, the Ontario government has put resources into fighting mostly terrestrial invasive species, through support for a research chair at Algoma University’s terrestrial lab, specializing in invasive species.  The chair holder, Pedro Antunes, is a former neighbour of mine from Guelph, who went to Germany to pursue his career. It’s great to have him and his family back in Canada, working on the challenges and opportunities that are an inevitable part of global agriculture and trade.

Pedro’s appointment, and what it means for agriculture, is the subject of my Urban Cowboy column today in the Guelph Mercury. Below is a photo of Pedro from a former webpage.