TWU alumn Emma Nikkel helps land managers in Metro Vancouver tackle invasive plant species

"My hope for this research is that it provides meaningful and practical information for local land managers, (helping them) to implement prevention and management strategies that actually make a difference.” 
— Emma Nikkel, BSc in Environmental Studies ('15)

"I love the outdoors and plants in particular!" said Emma Nikkel, who graduated from Trinity Western with a BSc in Environmental Studies ('15). 

Nikkel has worked in several different positions within the environmental field, but a common theme has been "being hands-on and providing practical measures to improve the well-being of an ecosystem as a whole," and that includes bettering the lives of humans. 

This summer, Nikkel is working with a team of researchers led by TWU’s Dr. David Clements to better understand how new invasive plants may spread into Metro Vancouver and beyond. This two-year study is funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Metro Vancouver Regional District.

"I am really looking forward to delving into the species we’re focusing on, understanding how these invasive species are spreading, and determining the factors that are contributing to their spread," says Nikkel about her upcoming research.

The Metro Vancouver area is vulnerable to invasive plants due to its favourable climate and diverse landscapes. Climate change is expected to make it easier for invasive plant species to spread, particularly northward into Canada. 

"My hope for this research is that it provides meaningful and practical information for local land managers, (helping them) to implement prevention and management strategies that actually make a difference."

She added, "I hope to contribute to bridging the gap between scientific knowledge and research, and actual management efforts in the field." 

Studying the effects of climate change on invasive species in Metro Vancouver

Nikkel's study aims to model how invasive plants such as Brazilian elodea, European common reed, Dyer's woad, shiny geranium, mouse ear hawkweed or water hyacinth may take advantage of climate change to establish and spread across the region, and will help governments develop tools and best practices for detecting, prioritizing, and managing outbreaks of invasive species.

Nikkel, together with the team from TWU, are working to develop the methodology for modelling habitat suitability under climate change for Metro Vancouver, incorporating the unique features of the region’s diverse landscape.
Read this story in the Langley Advance Times.

See also: TWU helps governments develop tools for detecting and managing outbreaks of invasive species:
TWU News

About Trinity Western University

Founded in 1962, Trinity Western University is Canada’s premier Christian liberal arts university dedicated to equipping students to establish meaningful connections between career, life, and the needs of the world. It is a fully accredited research institution offering liberal arts and sciences, as well as professional schools in business, nursing, education, human kinetics, graduate studies, and arts, media, and culture. It has four campuses and locations: Langley, Richmond-Lansdowne, Richmond-Minoru, and Ottawa. TWU emphasizes academic excellence, research, and student engagement in a vital faith community committed to forming leaders to have a transformational impact on culture. Learn more at or follow us on Twitter @TrinityWestern, on Facebook and LinkedIn.

For media inquiries, please contact:


TWU Family, the Kreiters, are in the process of building an accessible community garden at TWU! The project is called Opportunity Landing, and will be open from May Long Weekend to October. Hear more about the Kreiters' story here:


1 hour ago

RT @pgdailynews: Kristen Klassen from Prince George is part of a team of COVID-trained public health nurses serving a campus of 5,000 unive…

2 hours ago

"Being a nurse for me has been an active example of loving God & loving others. I am...challenged to see people the way Jesus does & motivated to prevent & alleviate suffering through justice & kindness.” — Taryne Lepp | TWU's Public Health Lead

23 hours ago

The sun is shining and the birds are chirping on campus—the perfect time to pull up a chair and visit outside! ☀️


1 day ago

Celebrating #NationalNursingWeek | This week, we recognize and express gratitude for our nurses and nurses-to-be who continue working and training to keep our communities healthy and to display love to those experiencing physical suffering!


1 day ago

Happy Mother's Day! From move-in day to graduation, TWU moms are always there for us. Enjoy celebrating the mother figures in your life today!


3 days ago