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LSUS to Host Salvinia Seminar

September 07, 2016

Salvinia, a devastating fern plant that is killing the water and organisms in Lake Bistineau in Webster Parish and Lake Wallace in Caddo Parish is meeting its match.

On Oct. 3rd, LSU Shreveport will be hosting an American Chemical Society's Northwest Louisiana Section seminar about the dangerous water plant. The seminar will take place at 7 p.m. on the third floor of the Noel Memorial Library.

The featured speaker of the seminar will be Professor Shiyou Li from Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches, Texas. Li is Director of the National Center for Pharmaceutical Crops in SFA's Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture. He will be speaking about harvesting the salvinia in the lakes and using the purified compounds to eradicate the growing lake plant. He also has discovered anti-cancer agents in the compounds that he will continue to research for further development.

"We are inviting interested individuals to LSUS to take part in the community event and participate in public engagement about the seriousness of salvinia and what the plant is doing to our lakes," said Dr. Brian Salvatore, professor and chair of the department of chemistry and physics at LSUS. "We are excited about educating the public about salvinia and what is being done to alleviate the problem it is causing to the lakes."

A fundraising event is taking place on Oct. 1 at noon in Doyline to raise monies to fix the harvesting boat that is being used on Lake Bistineau to collect the salvinia from the top of the water. The Second Annual Get-Together and Rib Cook-Off at the Rally Pavilion at the lake will create community interest about salvinia and preserving the lake and its life.

"These people in Webster Parish, who were successful in protesting the open burn at Camp Minden, are resourceful and dedicated to their environment," Dr. Salvatore said. "They are determined to raise the funds to update the harvesting boat to capture the salvinia."

The scientific talk is free and open to the public. To RSVP, please send an email to acsrsvp@aol.com to reserve a seat at the seminar. Interested individuals may also pay a fee to join in the dinner before the talk at 6 p.m.

The NWLA American Chemical Society is sponsoring the seminar. Chair of the NWLA ACS and Professor of chemistry and physics at LSUS, William Yu; Matyas Buzgo, botanist and Professor of biological sciences; and Gary Hanson, Director of the Red River Watershed Management Institute and Professor of biological sciences, will be attending the seminar on Oct. 3 and are working with other professionals on the salvinia development.

For more information about the fundraising event, please visit the event's Facebook page.

Contact Dr. Brian Salvatore at Brian.Salvatore@lsus.edu or 318.797.5224 for further information.