Dr. Carey Minteer works to develop solutions for controlling the state’s invasive weed problems through classical biological control and integrated pest management. Dr. Minteer is currently working to control the Brazilian peppertree, one of the state’s most wide-spread invasive plant species and air potato, a climbing vine from Asia.
Dr. Minteer’s familiarity with geographic information systems, or GIS, and remote sensing brings an innovative approach for invasive species research to the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Fort Pierce laboratory. Minteer utilizes satellites to collect spectral signatures, or light reflectance, from plants. With these tools Dr. Minteer is able to select a large swath of land and collect data about the extent of an infestation of an invasive plant species and, over time, monitor changes in that infestation.
The science involved in the biological control of invasive plant species is sophisticated, and when successful, saves millions of dollars annually because of the reduced need for expensive mechanical and/or chemical control methods.