Jennifer Grenz

Assistant Professor

Relevant Thesis-Based Degree Programs

 
 

Graduate Student Supervision

Master's Student Supervision

Theses completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest theses.

Investigating protein sources that the land and water provide to the Nlaka'pamux People (2023)

A variety of factors have contributed to the decrease in the number of salmon available to the Nlaka’pamux People. This has meant we have needed to seek additional sources of protein when we can’t get the salmon we need. Ungulate populations of deer, moose, and elk also provide protein to our people but we have been needing to get more of them in recent years due to the lack of salmon. As Chief Fred Sampson commented, “When we can’t get enough fish, we hang more meat.” Yet, there are a number of issues that have been hindering many Nlaka’pamux Peoples’ ability to obtain enough ungulate meat in our own territory. My research used household surveys and interviews with community members and hunters from Nlaka’pamux communities to identify their households’ use of deer, moose, elk, and salmon, and their ability to get, process, and preserve enough of each species. Their responses could help the Bands work towards ensuring the availability and access to adequate numbers of ungulates for our Food, Social, and Ceremonial (FSC) needs. My research shows there are a lack of ungulates available to the Nlaka’pamux People in our own territory due, in part, to the presence of too many other hunters, and the loss of ungulate habitat. This is due, in part, to the Provincial Government underestimating First Nations’ FSC needs. This underestimation has resulted in the government increasing the number of registered hunters and their ungulate harvests, thus competing with our people to get our FSC needs met. However, since 2017 the province has been changing how they engage with First Nations regarding wildlife management through a number of ways including the Together for Wildlife initiative; the provincial government’s Bill 41 – 2019: Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act to implement the UN Declaration (UNDRIP); and the Bill 14 amendment to the Wildlife Act to “advance collaboration and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples”. This research can help guide those consultative processes and enhance understanding between First Nations and the provincial government.

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Understanding plant-soil-management interactions of Reynoutria spp. (knotweeds) to inform ecological restoration (2023)

The management of knotweed species (Reynoutria spp.), aggressive clonal invasive plants of riparian areas, present unique management challenges, particularly within the province of British Columbia (BC) where a knowledge gap exists between field practitioners who work to control knotweed infestations and academic researchers who study them. Academic research on invasive plant management tends to apply a target-based lens, which limits our knowledge to effectively control invasive plants long-term. The primary objective of this research project was to shift this focus from a target-based approach to other often overlooked important relationships, such as plant-soil-management interactions. These are relationships that may reveal much needed solutions to effective long-term control and subsequent ecological restoration. Accomplishing this required a broad set of research questions: 1. Examining the soil microbial ecology of knotweed infestations and native salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis) dominated sites. We found that knotweed infestation altered the soil bacterial community, decreased arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) abundance and increased phosphorus compared to soil from salmonberry; 2. Testing the efficacy of a non-chemical control method that could be used near waterways where herbicide use is restricted, wire mesh girdling. It was determined that wire mesh significantly reduced stem and patch height but did not eradicate knotweed infestations in a field setting after two years; and 3. Attempting to conduct a dose-response assay to test for resistance to glyphosate in knotweed. Invasive Plant Managers have been reporting cases of epinastic knotweed patches in BC for several years that seem unaffected by repeated annual herbicide treatment. Rhizomes were collected from two such epinastic populations in Port Alice and North Vancouver, BC. However, a series of climate events impacted the ability to conduct the necessary experiments, and resistance to glyphosate could not be confirmed. While climate events had a significant impact on investigation of research questions, our primary research objective to focus on plant-soil-management interactions was accomplished and demonstrates that bridging the practitioner-researcher divide is critical to meeting long-term ecological restoration goals. The research also illuminates the importance of further understanding the legacy of knotweed invasion on the soil to inform restoration of native ecosystems in the post-control phase.

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News Releases

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