Dr. John H. Borden, ESA Fellow (1999)

Dr. John Borden, Chief Scientific Officer at Contech Enterprises Inc., Delta, British Columbia, was elected as Fellow in 1999. He is recognized for his advances in insect chemical ecology, including developing semiochemical-based IPM programs for use in forestry and agriculture.

Borden was born in Berkeley, California, in February 1938. He flunked out of pre-medicine at the University of British Columbia in 1957, was honorably discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps in 1961, and finally graduated from Washington State University in 1963, with a B.S. in entomology. He received an M.S. in entomology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1965, and a Ph.D. in 1966. He taught entomology and pest management at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC from 1966–2003. From 1991–2001 he held an Industrial Research Chair supported by Canada’s Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. After mandatory retirement at age 65, he joined the "dark side," becoming Research Director of Phero Tech Inc., the company that arose from his academic research program in 1983. A corporate merger in 2008 led to his current position with Contech Enterprises Inc.

Borden's research group identified pheromones in 22 species of scolytid beetles, two species of lepidopteran defoliators, seven species of stored grain beetles (establishing macrolide lactones as a new class of insect aggregation pheromones), five orchard pests (including the first known sex pheromone in the Miridae), three beetle pests of palms, and four other insects. They were the first to demonstrate the role of juvenile hormone in mediating pheromone synthesis in insects (bark beetles and stored grain beetles), synergism between pheromone enantiomers (ambrosia beetles), the role of photodecomposition in regulating pheromonal activity (antiaggregation pheromone of the mountain pine beetle), and the occurrence of several pheromones of conifer-infesting bark beetles in the bark of angiosperm trees. After moving to industry, he developed new commercial traps and lures for kitchen “fruit flies,” yellowjackets and house flies, and launched SuperBoost, a new product based on the brood pheromone of honey bees. During his university career, Borden supervised 101 graduate students, published 384 refereed papers and 17 book chapters, made 162 invited presentations at scientific and professional meetings, and was awarded nine patents. He has written 120 successful grant applications, raising $11,070,130 in research support from 16 government agencies in Canada and the U.S., 11 industrial agencies and 29 companies. He has served in numerous important national and international advisory roles (1986–2005).

Borden, a staunch supporter of professional certification, served on ESA’s Committee of Professional Training, Standards and Status, which in 1970 launched the American Registry of Professional Entomologists, precursor to the current Board Certified Entomologist program. He maintained this certification from 1971–2002. Borden has received many honors and awards, including the J.E. Bussart Award from the Entomological Society of America (1984), Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (1999), and the International Society of Chemical Ecology Medal (2010).

Borden married Edna MacEachern in 1962. They have two sons, Patrick and Ian. Borden finds that work is a great retirement hobby.

(updated February, 2015)