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Supriya Bhat Dr. Tanya Dahms
Pesticides compromise the soil health and microbial communities that support agriculture and wildlife. Dr. Tanya Dahms and
her research team at the University of Regina will continue to pilot the Plant Health Care Model (PHCM) for campus greens to
control invasive plant species as an alternative to pesticides.
Dr. Dahms recently refocused her research to study the effects of pesticides and anthropogenic compounds on environmental
health. Her recent publications, led by graduate student Supriya Bhat, in and show both detrimental Chemosphere PLOS one
and adaptive effects of very low levels of pesticides ( 2,4-D) on soil microbes using a unique combination of methodologies -
atomic force microscopy (AFM) and metabolomics. The research clearly indicates changes in microbial structure and DNA
damage due to pesticide-induced oxidative stress. Her team is currently using what they have learned about microbes to
develop high content AFM-confocal microscopy
assays, funded by NSERC and CFI that will
ultimately be used to explore the effects of
pesticides on human health.
The preliminary study on campus comparing
PHCM versus pesticides in collaboration
with Drs. Scott Wilson, Chris Yost and a
high school research team, led by Ms.
Heather Haynes, is examining the ecology
(from microbes to grass) of test plots.
With promising preliminary results, the
team will extend the PHCM to the
campus center green, which they hope
will serve as a model for the city and
province to become a pesticide free and