ERS student wins NSERC Prize

Michael McTavish from the Faculty of Environment wins the NSERC André Hamer Postgraduate Prize awarded to the most outstanding candidate in NSERC's doctoral scholarship competition.

Michael McTavish doing science thingsEarthworms are generally viewed as a welcome addition to any garden or farmer’s field for their ability to increase the amount of air and water in the soil and break down dead organic matter.  But 19 of Canada’s 27 earthworm species are European imports and not all are necessarily good for ecosystems.

Throughout Canada’s forests, several species of invasive earthworms feed on surface leaf litter and mix things up in a bad way. Leaf litter is used as a source of food and as a building material by many earthworm species. A large enough earthworm community can completely remove the litter layer in a single season that can sometimes prevent new plants from growing.

Read more about McTavish and his work.

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