I am a Professor and Bayer CropScience Chair in Sustainable Pest Management (2014-2019) in the School of Environmental Sciences - University of Guelph and have been a faculty member there since 1986. I am thrilled to have been appointed the Bayer CropScience Chair in Sustainable Pest Management because it has been a vision of mine for some time to participate in sustainable pest management research that provides effective mitigation of insect pests of crops but also ensures that the environmental impact of these actions is minimal. Much of the funding received from the Chairship is directed to training undergraduate and graduate students, and Post doctoral fellows. Training the agricultural scientists of the future is extremely important to me.
I received my Master of Pest Management from Simon Fraser University in 1983 supervised by Dr. Mark Winston. My MPM thesis was entitled“The Biology and Pheromone-Based Monitoring of the Bumble Bee Wax Moth – Vitula edmandsae”. I received my Ph.D. from Simon Fraser University in 1986 also supervised by Dr. Mark Winston. My Ph.D. thesis was entitled “Biology and Management of Wild Bee and Domesticated Honey Bee Pollinators for Tree Fruit Pollination”. Over the years I have supervised 40 graduate students and 4 PDFs, edited 3 books and 5 book chapters, and published 67 refereed scientific papers, 37 refereed proceedings papers, 80 technical reports and 30 extension publications.
My current research interests include sustainable pest management (IPM) of insect crop pests using environmentally compatible control methods; management of invasive alien and indigenous insect species; impact of agro-ecosystems on beneficial insects such as honey bees, non-Apis bees (i.e., bumble bees and leafcutter bees) and natural enemies (i.e., biological control agents); and development of standardized pesticide risk assessment methods for non-Apis bees. I am presently involved with risk assessment method development for studying the impact of pesticides in agroecosystems on bumble bees and leafcutter bees in lab and field situations; survey and development of IPM strategies for Brown marmorated stink bug and Ambrosia beetle – invasive insect pests in Ontario; and sustainable pest management programs for carrot weevil and carrot rust fly in Ontario. I am also looking at devising methods for minimizing non-target pesticide effects, investigating the biology and ecology of beneficial insects to facilitate management/conservation strategies, and identifying toxicity profiles of novel control products on beneficial insects.
Since the early 90’s, I have been involved with the supervision of large-scale GLP and other field studies in Ontario – looking at the impact of insecticides on honey bees and bumble bees. I’m keenly aware of the importance of IPM, entomology/apiculture and agriculture to the Canadian economy and endeavor to relay this to others through my research, teaching and outreach activities.