Heritage Lecture - Insect pests and invasive species don’t stop at the border

Judy Myers is Professor Emerita in the Departments of Zoology and Applied Biology at
the University of British Columbia. She is an insect and plant ecologist. With students and colleagues, she has studied the causes of population cycles in western tent caterpillars and biological control of winter moth, tansy ragwort, and purple loosestrife. From the mid-1970’s she was involved with the biological control of diffuse knapweed in British Columbia, a program which resulted in significant reductions in this serious rangeland pest. In 2003 she published “Ecology and Control of Introduced Plants” (Cambridge University Press) with coauthor Dawn Bazely, and in 2004 she was awarded the Gold Medal by the Entomological Society of Canada for her contributions to the theory and practice of biological control. She is also an honorary member of the ESC. Of particular importance in her studies has been the consideration of how many species of biological control agents are required for successful weed control, and how plant communities change following successful control. In addition, Judy and her students have investigated the resistance of cabbage loopers to the microbial control agent Bacillus thuringiensis, and with Jenny Cory has elucidated the role of a naturally occurring viral disease in the population dynamics of the tent caterpillars under changing climatic conditions. Judy is a past president of the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution and has been a long-time advocate of increasing the participation of women in science.