As a research scientist at the Lethbridge Research Centre, I study a range of topics that center on the theme of insect community ecology with application for pest control.  Early in my career, I began studies on the biology and ecology of parasitic wasps (Pteromalidae) for use as biocontrol agents for flies affecting livestock.  This led to an interest in Wolbachia bacteria, which infect an estimated 20-80 percent of all insect species and which can have profound effects on the reproduction of their insect hosts.
     We also study insects that co-occur with pest flies in cattle dung.  Results from some of these studies document the non-target effects of faecal residues, on insects breeding in the dung of cattle treated with veterinary pharmaceuticals.  This information is being used to develop international guidelines for the registration of new veterinary products.  Other studies examine the role of dung beetles (Scarabaeidae) in degrading cattle dung to maintain the ‘health’ of pasture ecosystems.
      More recent studies involve cutworms (Noctuidae), their host plants and their parasitoids.  Cutworms are complex of pest species that affect several crops and have been of particular concern in recent years.  We also have a number of collaborations for which our lab does DNA barcoding, primarily for insects being studied as biocontrol agents of weeds.  From my Ph.D. research, I retain an interest on insect communities in natural zones of overlap and hybridization between species of cottonwoods (Populus spp.) in southern Alberta.  Studies identify these zones as ‘hotspots’ of biodiversity and evolutionary change.
A visual summary of my research topics is illustrated with use of this word cloud. It was generated using titles from my scientific papers and book chapters published up to December 2012 (see publications). The more often a word is repeated in these titles, the larger it appears in the word cloud. Many words appear once or twice and are too small to be easily read.  Click here to view a larger version of the word cloud.  

 Academic Training:
 BSc Agriculture - University of Saskatchewan   
 MSc (Entomology) - University of Saskatchewan  
 PhD (Zoology) - Northern Arizona University 
 ●  Entomological Society of Canada
 ●  Entomological Society of Alberta 
 ●  Entomological Society of America
 ●  Canadian Forum for Biological Control
 ●  International Organisation for Biological
     Control, Western Palaearctic Regional Section
 ●  Biological Survey of Canada
The Canadian

Contact information:
Lethbridge Research Centre
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
5403 - 1st Avenue South
Lethbridge, AB T1J 4B1
Tel: (403) 317-2242
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