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Gaudon aims to battle emerald ash borer with insect enemies

Justin Gaudon is a Ph.D. student at the Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto, whose research centres on long-term management of emerald ash borer (EAB) by using parasitoid wasps. Parasitoids are parasite-like insects that kill their insect host - in this case EAB.

Gaudon with emergence tube Justin Gaudon with emergence tube containing an EAB-infested ash log. EAB parasitoids emerge from the infested wood and are collected from the tube.

He is investigating whether augmenting the populations of these parasitoid wasps will result in effective control of EAB, and slow its spread to other regions. This summer, he will be collecting Phasgonophora sulcata, a native parasitoid that attacks beetles closely related to EAB, as well as other local parasitoid wasps, and will be releasing them into EAB-infested sites across the Greater Toronto Area. He is also investigating whether a parasitoid's effectiveness in finding and killing EAB is affected by the tree species growing in the forest alongside ash, and whether the tree's health affects which parasitoid wasps are attracted to the tree to look for EAB and related beetles.

EAB parasitoid Phasgonophora sulcata Phasgonophora sulcata, a parasitoid of EAB.
David Cappaert, Michigan State University, Bugwood.org

Answering these questions will help us better understand natural enemy communities associated with EAB, increase the mortality of EAB, and slow its spread.

Justin can be contacted at justin.gaudon@mail.utoronto.ca, or visit his website at http://jmgaudon.weebly.com/.


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