- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
His seminar is from 12:10 to 1 p.m. in 122 Briggs Hall. Host is Michael Parrella, professor and chair of the department.
Gillespie's abstract: "The phenomenon of global climate change (GCC) is likely to have a dominant impact on agriculture, food supply and food security in the coming decades. The two dominant GCC trends – increased carbon dioxide concentrations, and increased average annual temperatures, will cause changes in how and where crop plants grow. However, because arthropods are mostly cold-blooded, the underlying effect of GCC on average temperature and temperature ranges within growing seasons is likely to be of greater importance for IPM in agriculture. Biological control of pest insects by arthropod natural enemies is an integral part of IPM. The benefits derived from biological control (increased yields and reduced pest numbers) are governed by the principles of population and community ecology. Relationships between species in biological control, such as prey-predator dynamics, competition and trophic cascades are driven in part by rates of growth and movement of the component species, which are in turn governed in part by temperature."
"This seminar presentation will summarize some recent work on the effects of extreme temperatures on an experimental biological control community. I will conclude by presenting some preliminary results from work-in-progress which places the effects of extreme temperatures in the context of the two key GCC trends: carbon dioxide and average growing season temperature."
Gillespie says he's primarily an insect ecologist and biological control scientist. "For over 30 years the focus of my research has been the development and introduction of biological control agents and biological control systems for use in Canadian greenhouse crops. Many of the predators and parasitoids that I have developed as biological control agents are currently produced and sold in Canada, and are used extensively to replace insecticide use in greenhouse and other crops. The principles of population and community ecology are used to develop approaches to limit insect population growth in order to reduce or eliminate insecticide applications while maintaining productivity, crop quality and profitability. The results help to develop IPM systems in crops, and improve worker and environmental health."
His current research projects entail classical biological control programs for pests of canola and other cole crops; development of life table models for spotted wing drosophila; surveys of egg parasitoids of Pentatomidae; and development of an improved understanding of the effects of extreme temperature events and other climate change factors biological control communities. This last work led to participation in a report on the effects of climate change on invertebrate genetic resources in Agriculture for the FAO."
Gillespie also is an adjunct professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Simon Fraser University where he has co-supervised numerous master's degree and Ph.D. students. He served on supervisory committees for M.Sc. and Ph.D. students at Cornell University, University of British Columbia, and the University of Windsor. His contributions have been recognized by an honorary membership in the International Organization for Biological Control (2012), an AAFC Gold Harvest Award (2011), by a lifetime achievement award from the Professional Pest Management Association of British Columbia (2011), and an Award of Excellence from Association of Natural Biological Control Producers (2003)
Assistant professor Brian Johnson is coordinating the winter quarter seminars. Plans call for recording the seminars for later posting on UCTV.