Indigenous Ecology Lab

Indigenous Ecology Lab

Virginia Oeggerli

Virginia Oeggerli

M.Sc. Forestry Student
Started September 2022

Coming from a rural dairy farm in Bainsville, ON, I have always enjoyed being outside and learning the ins and outs of the factors that influence plant lifecycles. During my undergraduate degree where I studied biology with an ecology emphasis, I began to focus my interests on plant ecosystems and the impacts of invasive plants. This alongside developing a passion for teaching through undergraduate TA positions led me to continue my studies through graduate research.

I joined the Indigenous Ecology Lab as I want to contribute valuable information to the St’át’imccommunities to support their decolonized and Indigenized decision-making processes regarding post-fire vegetation recovery. I am passionate about Indigenous equity and food sovereignty, studying in the Indigenous Ecology Lab will allow me to make meaningful connections and contributions alongside Indigenous communities.

Undergraduate Degree:

Trinity Western University, BSc. in Biology with Honours in Ecology

Research Interests:

Indigenous food systems, Invasion biology, Post wildfire ecology

General Interests:

hiking, camping, gardening, board games, and soccer

Project

Vegetation Growth Trajectory Responses of Native and Invasive Plants Across the McKay Creek Wildfire Area on St'át'imc Territory

Based in the Lillooet region of British Columbia, my Master’s project is working in the McKay Creek wildfire where over 44,964ha burned in 2021. My project aims to examine the response of invasive, native, and culturally important plants determined by the St’át’imc Nation. With the Indigenous communities as collaborators, this project seeks to bring together Western and Indigenous knowledge systems guided by community values. This study will prioritize the community’s post-wildfire concerns such as risks to traditional and agrarian food systems, soil stability, hydrology, wildlife health, culturally important plants, climate change, and future wildfire risks.

Publications

Clements DR, Day MD, Oeggerli V, Shen SC, Weston LA, Xu GF, Zhang FD, Zhu X. (2019) Site-Specific management is crucial to managing Mikania micrantha. Weed Research, 59(3), 155-169 https://doi.org/10.1111/wre.12359