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ForestConnect: Development of Host Tree Resistance to Restore Landscapes Impacted by Invasive Insects & Diseases
Options for restoring forests degraded by invasive insects and diseases will be examined in the context of the goals of the forest manager, which may vary from restoration of ecosystem services to restoring the forest to its pre-invasion state. The value of genetics and the development of resistance breeding programs as a critical tool for restoration and maintaining healthy, resilient forests will be discussed with a focus on ongoing programs breeding for beech bark disease resistance in American beech and emerald ash borer resistance in North American ash species.

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Dr. Jennifer Koch
Research Biologist @USDA Forest Service
Jennifer Koch is a Research Biologist with the USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station in Delaware, OH. She has both a M.S. and Ph.D in Molecular Genetics from the Ohio State University. Her research is focused on the genetics of forest tree resistance to invasive insects and pathogens, developing methods to identify, propagate, and breed resistant trees. She has successfully developed and implemented a participatory, multi-agency breeding program for beech bark disease resistant American beech trees and her work is currently also focused on identifying and breeding for emerald ash borer resistance in ash.