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Chairholder Profile

Boyd Mori

Boyd Mori

Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science
University of Alberta

Chair title

NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Agricultural Entomology

Chair program

Industrial Research Chairs program

Role

Associate Chairholder since 2020

Summary

Agriculture and agri-food production are threatened annually by insect pests. The development of integrated pest management (IPM) strategies have proven to be an effective method to combat these pests and maintain productive, sustainable agricultural systems, food security, and a healthy environment. IPM is a holistic approach to reduce risks from pests by using all available methods to reduce damage to acceptable levels while minimizing the impacts on people and the environment. Although IPM strategies have been established for agricultural systems in the Prairie Provinces, the introduction of exotic pest species, insecticide resistance, loss of available insecticides due to deregistration, and climate change have increased insect pressure on cropping systems and reduced IPM options available to producers. Consequently, the NSERC IRC in Agricultural Entomology combines basic and applied research approaches, incorporating knowledge of insect behaviour, chemistry, and molecular ecology to develop alternative, sustainable IPM strategies that will reduce our reliance on insecticides and conserve beneficial species (e.g. pollinators and natural enemies).

The research program will focus on four integrated research objectives:

  1. To investigate the genetic diversity and population structure of invasive insect pests to compare the routes of invasion and infer dispersal ability.
  2. To determine the impact of generalist predators on pest populations under field conditions.
  3. To identify and characterize insect resistance in plants from the cabbage family (including canola).
  4. To refine pheromone monitoring protocols and create decision support tools to manage insect pests.

Dr. Mori has been active in agricultural entomology research for over a decade. As the NSERC IRC in Agricultural Entomology at the University of Alberta, he leads this program in partnership with the Alberta Wheat Commission, Alberta Canola Producers Commission, Alberta Pulse Growers Commission and Alberta Barley Commission. These producer groups represent over 14,000 Albertan farmers and support the success of their members by providing leadership and investment in research, extension, and market development. All partners recognize the importance of sustainability in agriculture, including the need for sound integrated insect pest management. Their support of this research program will ultimately provide foundational knowledge and applied tools for field crop production on the Prairies. By examining routes of insect invasion, biological control, host plant resistance, and monitoring tools, this program will reduce pest damage, enhance monitoring and forecasting tools, and ultimately reduce farmer reliance on insecticides. In turn, this will help to preserve overall environmental health and improve the resiliency and security of agriculture and agri-food production in Canada.

Partners

  • Alberta Wheat Commission
  • Alberta Canola Producers Commission (ACPC)
  • Alberta Pulse Growers Commission
  • Alberta Barley Commission

Contact information

Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science
University of Alberta

Email: bmori@ualberta.ca

Website:
This link will take you to another Web site https://www.ualberta.ca/agriculture-life-environment-sciences/about-us/contact-us/facultylecturer-directory/boyd-mori