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Ecological Protection Lab

The UNG Ecological Protection Lab (formerly the Beetle Lab) has led in regional efforts to protect the Eastern Hemlock from the invasive Wooly Adelgid by initiating biological control efforts through the rearing and release of predatory beetles to reduce adelgid numbers and impacts.

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Contact Information

Ecological Protection Lab

(formerly Predatory Beetle Lab)
332 Sunset Drive, Dahlonega, GA
Dahlonega, GA 30597
Phone: 706-867-4596

Roots of the Ecological Protection Lab

During a field botany class a few years ago, a seed was planted in Dr. Robert Fuller’s head (professor and Environmental Leadership Center director). The instructor of the class, Mark Warren, owner of the Medicine Bow outdoor school, was expressing the value of hemlock trees to the entire ecosystem and the grave risk they face from the hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA). The seed started germinating as he learned about the efforts to control this noxious pest locally by working with Young Harris College, Clemson University, and the University of Georgia (UGA).

These labs have been working with imported beetles that prey on the HWA. Dr. Fuller felt that it was time for the University of North Georga (UNG) to help fight in this battle too. Fortunately, this notion was allowed to sprout. Two people stepped in to help nurture Dr. Fuller's idea. First, Dr. Mike Bodri, Dean of the School of Science and Health Professions, offered his support and bountiful expertise.

Secondly, Representative Amos Amerson was able to obtain ample funding to hire a full-time lab coordinator and support the lab in terms of materials and supplies to get the lab up and running. Soon members of the community stepped up and provided their support by volunteering and providing funding and donations. Three local nonprofit organizations, The Lumpkin Coalition, Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeepers, and Georgia Trout Unlimited, bestowed upon us the necessary monetary donations. Local residents even donated refrigerators, 5-gallon buckets, and their time to help support the cause.

The creation of this lab, the efforts from its workers and volunteers, and the increase of knowledge throughout the community will all aid in this battle against the hemlock woolly adelgid.

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