B.Sc. University of Guelph;
M.Sc. University of Guelph;
PhD. University of Reading (UK)
Phone: 519-824-4120 x. 53533
Phone: 519-824-4120 x. 53533
Weed Ecology, Biosafety and Transgene Confinement
Weed Management: Weed management is a constant challenge in crop production systems world-wide. The way in which we manage weeds is fundamentally a function of the nature of the production system and the opportunities with a production system for timely weed recruitment. My weed management research focuses on weed recruitment biology and the impact of its nature on the efficacy of management approaches. I work in the context of the continuum of agricultural production systems from intensive to natural systems agriculture and I work collaboratively with researchers across North America.
Biosafety: The next wave of novel traits being engineered into food and feed crops in Canada include traits for plant made pharmaceuticals (PMPs) and industrial bio-products. These traits will bring great value but some will pose risks to food safety if the traits are not adequately confined. A priori assessment and mitigation of these risks is greatly facilitated by the use of dynamic deterministic models of trait movement. The broad objective of my research in this area is to facilitate the future exploitation of novel traits in cropped plants by producing effective, detailed deterministic models of crop to crop novel trait movement (trait confinement models).
Bullied, W.J., P.R. Bullock, and R.C. Van Acker. (2011). Modeling the soil-water retention characteristic with pedotransfer functions for shallow seedling recruitment. Soil Sci. 176:57-72.
Bagavathiannan, M.V., R.H. Gulden and R.C. Van Acker. (2010). Occurrence of feral alfalfa (Medicago sativa L. ) populations along roadside habitats in southern Manitoba, Canada and their role in intraspecific novel trait movement. Transgenic Research 19: (available on-line DOI 10.1007/s11248-010-9425-2).
Bagavathiannan, M.V., A. Spok and R.C. Van Acker. (2010). Commercialization of Perennial GE crops: Looming Challenges for Regulatory Frameworks. J. Agric. Environ. Ethics. 23:(available on-line DOI 10.1007/s10806-010-9257-3).
Bagavathiannan, M.V., R.H. Gulden, G.S. Begg and R.C. Van Acker. (2010). The demography of feral alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) populations occurring in roadside habitats in Southern Manitoba, Canada: implications for novel trait confinement. Environ. Sci. Pollut. Res. 17: (available on-line DOI 10.1007/s11356-010-0330-2).
Bagavathiannan, M.V., B. Julier, P. Barre, R.H. Gulden and R.C. Van Acker. (2010). Genetic diversity of feral alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) populations occurring in Manitoba, Canada and comparison with alfalfa cultivars: an analysis using SSR markers and phenotypic traits. Euphytica 171:419-432.
Willenborg, C.J., A. L. Brûlé-Babel, and R.C. Van Acker. (2010). Identification of a hybridization window that facilitates sizable reductions of pollen-mediated gene flow in spring wheat. Transgenic Research 19: 449-460.
Bagavanthiannan, M.V. and R.C. Van Acker. (2009). Transgenes and national boundaries – the need for international regulation. Environmental Biosafety Research 8: 141-148.
Mauro, I.J., S.M. McLachlan and R.C. Van Acker. (2009). Farmer knowledge and a priori risk analysis: Pre-release evaluation of genetically modified Roundup Ready wheat across the Canadian prairies. Environ. Sci. Pollution Res. 16: 689-701.
Willenborg, C.J., A.L. Brûlé-Babel and R.C. Van Acker. (2009). Low crop densities promote pollen-mediated gene flow in spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Transgenic Research 18:841-854.
Willenborg, C.J., E.C. Luschei, A.L. Brûlé-Babel and R.C. Van Acker. (2009). Crop genotype and plant population density impact flowering phenology and synchrony between cropped and volunteer spring wheat. Agron. J. 101:1311-1321.
Zahra-Hosseini Cici and R.C. Van Acker. (2009). A review of the recruitment biology of winter annual weeds in Canada. Can. J. Plant Sci. 89: 575-589.
Willenborg C.J., E.C. Luschei, A.L. Brûlé-Bable and R.C. Van Acker. (2009). Flowering phenology and synchrony between volunteer and cropped spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.): identification of a hybridization window and its implications for pollen-mediated gene flow. Crop Sci. 49:1029-1039.
Bagavathiannan, M.V. and R.C. Van Acker. (2009). The Biology and Ecology of Feral Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) and Its Implications for Novel Trait Confinement in North America. Crit. Rev. Plant Sci. 28:69-87
Friesen, L.F., H.J. Beckie, S.I. Warwick and R.C. Van Acker. (2009). The biology of Canadian weeds. 138. Kochia scoparia (L.) Schrad. Can. J. Plant Sci. 89: 141-167.
Van Acker, R.C.. (2009). Weed biology serves practical weed management. Weed Res. 49: 1-5.
Willenborg, C.J., A.L Brûlé-Babel, L.F. Friesen and R.C. Van Acker. (2008). Response of heterozygous and homozygous spring wheat genotypes to imazamox. Crop Sci. 48:2107-2114.
Willenborg, C.J. and R.C. Van Acker. (2008). The biology and ecology of hexaploid wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and its implications for trait confinement. Can. J. Plant Sci. 88: 997-1013.
Otfinowski, R, N.C. Kenkel and R.C. Van Acker. (2008). Reconciling seed dispersal and seed bank observations to predict smooth brome (Bromus inermis) invasions of a northern prairie. Invasive Plant Science and Management 1: 279-288.
Szumigalski, A.R. and R.C. Van Acker. (2008). Land equivalent ratios, light interception and water use in annual intercrops in the presence or absence of in-crop herbicides. Agron. J. 100:1145-1154.
Bagavanthiannan, M. and R.C. Van Acker. (2008). Crop ferality: implications for novel trait confinement. Agric., Ecosystems and Environ. 127: 1-6.
Van Acker, R.C. (2008). Sustainable Agriculture Development Requires A Shift From An Industrial To A Multifunctional Model. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 6: 1-2.
Knispel, A.L., S.M. McLachlan, R.C. Van Acker and L. F. Friesen. (2008). Genetically engineered multiple herbicide resistance in escaped canola populations. Weed Sci. 56: 72-80.
Schwinghamer, T and R.C. Van Acker. (2008). Emergence timing and persistence of kochia (Kochia scoparia). Weed Sci. 56: 37-41.
Brûlé-Babel, A.L., C.J. Willenborg, L.F. Friesen and R.C. Van Acker. (2006). Modelling the influence of gene flow and selection pressure on the frequency of a GE herbicide-tolerant trait in non-GE wheat and wheat volunteers. Crop Sci. 46: 1704–1710.
Van Acker, R.C. (2006). The potential for the coexistence of GM and non-GM crops in Canada. In Topics in Canadian Weed Science, Volume 4, C.J. Swanton (Ed). Transgenic herbicide tolerant crops: agronomy, environment and beyond. Sainte-Anne-de Bellevue, Québec: Canadian Weed Science Society - Société canadienne de malherbologie. xxx pp (in press).
Van Acker, R.C., R. Martin and N. McLean. (2006). Development of quality assurance protocols to prevent GM-contamination of organic and 'low-input' crops. Pages x-x In Handbook of Organic Food Safety and Quality, C. Leifert (Ed), Woodhead Publishing Ltd. Cambridge, UK. (in press)
Willenborg, C.J., and R.C. Van Acker. (2006). Comments on an empirical model for pollen mediated gene flow in wheat (Crop Sci. 45:1286-1294). Crop Sci. 46:1018-1019.
Nazarko, O.M., R.C. Van Acker and M.H. Entz. (2005). Strategies and tactics for herbicide use reduction in field crops in Canada: a review. Can. J. Plant Sci. 85: 457-479.
Marvier, M. and R.C. Van Acker. (2005). Can crop transgenes be kept on a leash? Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 3(2):93-100.
Van Acker, R.C. (2005). Coexistence of GM and non-GM crops in Canada: current status and future direction. (invited). GMCC-05: Second international conference on coexistence between GM and non-GM based agricultural supply chains. Montpellier, France, Nov 14-15, 2005. Proceedings pp39-43.
Van Acker, R.C., A.L. Brule-Babel and L.F. Friesen. (2004). Intraspecifc gene movement can create environmental risk: The example of Roundup Ready® wheat in western Canada. In: Breckling, B and R. Verhoeven (eds): Risk, Hazard, Damage - Specification of Criteria to Assess Environmental Impact of Genetically Modified Organisms. Bonn (Bundesamt fur Naturshutz) - Naturschutz und Biolische Viefalt 1:37-47.
Friesen, L.F, A. Nelson and R.C. Van Acker. (2003). Evidence of contamination of pedigreed canola (Brassica napus) seedlots in western Canada with genetically engineered herbicide resistance traits. Agron. J. 95: 1342-1347.