Wagner Ecology Lab


We are a plant community ecology lab at the Department of Biological Sciences, at the University of Alberta, Canada.

We aim to understand why habitats become susceptible to invasive non-native plants and how management actions, human pressure and environmental factors affect their biological components. In the era of global change, we try to illuminate the biodiversity and functions of rare habitats that have been poorly studied.

We work across different habitat types but much of our work focuses on grasslands. These ecosystems cover a quarter of the global terrestrial surface but face unprecedented and enormous pressure by farming, non-native species, a disruption of natural disturbance regimes, and climate change.

Our research centres on western Canada, the adjacent US states, Europe and Central Asia and we tackle our research questions through a comparative framework and data mining, field observations, and experiments.

Contact us

University of Alberta
Department of Biological Sciences
Biological Sciences Building
Edmonton, AB, T6G 2E9
Phone: 780 492-1208

Lab news

24 August 2023 Kaitlin received a Graduate Student Teaching Award! Well done, Kaitlin!

21 August 2023 Congratulations to Raytha for securing a McAfee Estate Scholarship Botany!

17 August 2023 Viktoria taught a new Field Botany course at our department. Thanks to: Shelby (Vinebrook lab) for TA support, City of Edmonton and Edmonton & Area Land Trust, Leduc county, Alberta Native Plant Council for permissions, Patsy Cotterill (plant lists, discussions), and the course participants for being awesome students!

31 August 2023 Martin, Tia and Jake finished their Caragana field sampling season. Stay tuned for future publications from our lab on Caragana invasiveness! Great work, team!

4 July 2023 New paper out on efficacy and non-target effects of herbicides in foothills grassland restoration. Congratulations to Rachelle on her first paper! Read it here

30 July 2023 Viktoria finished field surveys on non-native plant invasions in the Pavlodar region, Kazakhstan. Collaboration with Tatyana Vakhlamova, Viktor Kamkin, Nataliya Tarasovskaya, and Mikhail Klimenko.

16 January 2023 Summer 2023 position: We are looking for a UofA undergraduate student to apply for a USRA to join our project on Caragana arborescens invasions.

16 January 2023 Welcome to our new lab members Martin Hinojosa, Britton McNerlin (both MSc students), and Emily Wong (BIOL 498 student)!

12 January 2023 Former postdoc Ricarda P├Ątsch shows that bedrock meadows are a distinct vegetation type in interior NW North America. Read the paper in the journal Applied Vegetation Science

1 November 2022 Viktoria received a Schimper field research grant to collaborate with Tatjana Vakhlamova in Kazakhstan as part of a cross-continental comparison of levels of invasion across habitat types.

8 July 2022 We are looking for 1-2 MSc students to join our lab in January 2022. For more details see here

1 March 2022 Zoey's paper on non-native plant invasions in Alberta prairie grasslands was accepted in Rangeland Ecology & Management. Congrats, Zoey!

News archive