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Faculty of Science
- Populations of western tent caterpillars in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia fluctuate with peaks occurring every 6 to 11 years. We have been studying the characteristics associated with these fluctuations and in particular the role of infection by nucleopolyhedrovirus in the host population dynamics. We are embarking on a genetic study of populations to determine the role of gene flow in maintaining synchrony among populations.
- Recent success in the biological control of diffuse knapweed has stimulated interest in how the various biological control agents interact and if the last insect to be widely established, a weevil, would have been sufficient on its own. We have established experimental cages in areas near Okanagan Falls in which diffuse knapweed has reinvaded following fire. Our goal is to be able to better predict what makes successful biological control agents.
- Populations of cabbage loopers in vegetable green houses sometimes become resistant to a commonly used microbial control, Dipel or Bacillus thuringiensis. We have been studying the cost of resistance, the genetic control of resistance, and the mechanisms that influence resistance to understand coevolutionary interactions between the disease and the host and to make recommendations to growers for resistance management.