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ESC/SEQ JAM 2015 in Montreal

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This past weekend marked the beginning of the Entomological Society of Canada and the Société d’entomologie du Québec’s Joint Annual Meeting in Montreal. This three day event brought together a large number of insect researchers and insect enthusiasts from all across Canada. This was my second ESC/SEQ meeting in Montreal, and the second since I have been a student. As a blog administrator, I got a bit of an inside look at the current issues facing the society at the meeting of the ESC board meeting, which will be the subject of future posts. I also got quite a few bedbug bites from staying in a cheap hostel the night of the board meeting, but that is another, and terrible story.

Anyway, of course I brought my camera, and so here I give you the conference from my perspective.

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Here is the board meeting, which was also being shot by Louise Hénault-Ethier.

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On the opening day, the Gold Medal address was delivered by Jon Sweeney, reflecting mainly on his collaborators over the years and how the have helped shape his stellar career in entomology.

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Guy Boivin delivered the Heritage Lecture, which was an awesome mix of First Nations insect lore, followed by the early natural historians of New France. I learned quite a bit from this, and I hope Guy may write some more on the subject for the Canadian Entomologist.

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Sunday’s plenary session featured Marcel Dicke from Wageningen University, and was an absolutely fascinating story about herbivores, parasitoids and hyperparistitoids on mustards. The interactions he described kind of blew my mind.

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The first talk of the Graduate Student’s Showcase was by Christina Hodson from UVic. She described her work on a charismatic little psocopteran and its weird sex distorting elements.

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Holly Caravan of Memorial University delivering her lecture on fascinating social aphids, with some great background on other social insects.

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Jean-Philippe Parent of Université de. Montréal gave a riveting lecture on how to determine if an insect can measure time.

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Leanna Lachowsky of University of Calgary with a topic near and dear to those of of from the west: mountain pine beetle! This was a cool study on sex allocation in this troublesome forest pest.

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And finally, Paul Abram from Université de Montréal on stinkbugs and their parasitoids.

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After the great opening sessions, we all repaired to the Insectarium to enjoy drinks in the company of our favourite colleagues and study subjects!

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If you ever try photographing people in this space, you will quickly learn how much colour casts arise from the brightly painted walls. I did manage to capture this one of Louise as many of you will remember her, behind the camera!

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I caught this one of Cedric on the bus back from the Insectarium

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Big thanks to Sarah Loboda and Maxime Larivée for running so much behind the scenes. They provided to me my favourite shot of the conference as well! Not sure how they kept their wits about them, but I think it was because they both have such a good sense of humour.

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Monday’s plenary was delivered by Jessica Forrest, from University of Ottawa, talking about a whole range of issues with a population of montane bees in Colorado.

From here on, my trajectory through the conference will probably differ substantially from yours. I of course needed to attend the sessions in which my former labmates were giving talks, but even so I did not manage to catch them all! I present to you instead a slideshow of images that I took during the conference. I will say how impressed I was by the student presentations this year in the GSS and the President’s Prize sessions. ESC students are really on the ball at how to give effective talks, and I hope that the more senior among us are paying attention! Perhaps in 2017 we can have a Student’s Prize to award to the best regular session talk!



















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Student opportunities at the 2016 International Congress of Entomology

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Next September, the largest-ever scientific meeting of entomologists will take place at the International Congress of Entomology (ICE) in Orlando, Florida. For graduate students and early-career entomologists, it will be a fantastic opportunity to meet your peers from all over the world, present your research in a high-profile setting, and scout out potential study or career opportunities.

While you might be thinking that it’s an awful long time from now, and that there’s that pesky thesis that you have to get written, there are two important deadlines coming up soon that you should be aware of:

1. Travel Awards for Students and Early-Career Professionals

The international branch of the Entomological Society of America is giving a total of $50,000 worth of awards to students from outside the USA to attend ICE 2016.

Find detailed information about these awards here. Note that you need to be a member of the ESA to apply, that and membership will cost you between $50 and $150. If you plan to apply, you need to act fast – the deadline for application is September 1st, 2015.

Also note that the Entomological Society of Canada will also have a student and early-career professional travel awards program to assist with attendance at ICE. Information about these awards will be available soon!

2. The International Graduate Student Showcase (IGSS)

The Graduate Student Showcase, which has become a staple of ESC annual meetings, is coming to ICE 2016! Don’t miss this opportunity to present your finished research project alongside the top graduate students in entomology from around the world.

To apply, you need to be defending your MSc or PhD thesis between September 30, 2015 and September 30, 2016.

Find more information about the IGSS here.

The deadline for IGSS applications is October 31, 2015.

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President’s Prize winners and runners-up

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Sarah Loboda of McGill University, a double runner-up! Photo by Miles Zhang.

In my last post, I shared some thoughts about the value of the President’s Prize at Annual Meetings of the Entomological Society of Canada. This time, with the help of Tyler Wist, I present the names and categories for each of the winners and runners-up.

I would like to congratulate all of these fine scientists, and invite each of them to share a bit about their work here on the ESC blog.

Oral Presentations

Bees and Pollination

Winner:

Veronika Lambinet (Simon Fraser University), with M. Bieri, M. Hayden, and G. Gries.

Bee talk – Do honeybees use the earth’s magnetic field as a reference to align their waggle dance?

Honourable mention:

Danae Frier (University of Regina), with C. Sheffield.

Bumblebees do it better: the importance of native bees to the pollination of haskap crops.

Biodiversity and Conservation

Winner:

Sebastian Ibarra (Simon Fraser University), with S. McCann, R. Gries, H. Zhai, and G. Gries.

The wrath of the bald-faced hornet – pheromone-mediated nest defence.

Honourable mention:

Seung-Il Lee (University of Alberta), with J. Spence and D. Langor.

Variable retention harvesting and saproxylic beetle conservation in white spruce stands of the boreal ecosystem.

Sarah Loboda (McGill University), with J. Savage, T. Hoye, and C. Buddle.

    Ecological and evolutionary responses of Arctic flies to recent climate change in Zackenberg, Greenland.

Arthropod Biology

Winner:

Sharleen Balogh (University of Northern British Columbia), with D. Huber and S. Lindgren.

Host selection of lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) by the Warren root collar weevil (Hylobius warreni).

Honourable mention:

Aldo Rios (University of Manitoba), with A. Costamagna.

Contribution of soybean aphid alates to colony fitness under predation.

Pest Management

Winner:

Tina Dancau (CABI, Switzerland), with T. Haye, P. Mason, and D. Gillespie.

Mortality factors affecting the diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella) in continental Europe: a preliminary life table analysis.

Honourable mention:

Jon Williams (University of Guelph), with H. Earl and R. Hallett.

Laboratory investigations of swede midge, Contarinia nasturtii, oviposition and damage symptoms to canola.

Posters

 

Winner:

Sabrina Rochefort (McGill University), with T. Wheeler.

Taxonomy and diversity of Parapiophila (Diptera: Piophilidae).

Honourable mention:

Sarah Loboda (McGill University), with C. Ernst and C. Buddle.

Yellow pan traps versus pitfall traps: best monitoring tool for ground-dwelling arthropods in the Arctic.

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2013 ESC Student Awards – Application Deadline Feb 16

The Entomological Society of Canada gives out several financial awards each year to Canadian graduate students studying entomology. The following awards are available for 2013:

Graduate Research Travel Award – Up to a maximum of $2000

  • Normally awarded to one MSc student and one PhD student annually
  • Intent is to help students increase the scope of their research, and will be judged on scientific merit
  • Student must be enrolled as a graduate student at a Canadian university & studying insects or related terrestrial arthropods
  • Details
  • Application & Evaluation Information
  • Deadline: February 16, 2013

Postgraduate Awards – $2000

  • Normally awarded to one MSc student and one PhD student annually
  • Awarded on basis of high scholastic achievement
  • Student must be enrolled as a graduate student at a Canadian university & studying insects or related terrestrial arthropods
  • Application & Evaluation Information
  • Deadline: February 16, 2013

John H. Borden Scholarship – $1000

  • In honour of Dr. John H. Borden, one postgraduate award of $1,000 to assist students in postgraduate programs who are studying Integrated Pest Management (IPM) with an entomological emphasis
  • Awarded on basis of high scholastic achievement & innovative research in IPM
  • Applicant must be a full time postgraduate student at the time of application, studying IPM at a degree granting institution in Canada
  • Application & Evaluation Information
  • Deadline: February 16, 2013

Keith Kevan Award – $1000

  • In memory of Dr. D. Keith McE. Kevan, the Entomological Society of Canada offers one postgraduate award of $1,000 biennally to assist students in postgraduate programs who are studying systematics in entomology
  • Awarded on  basis of high scholastic achievement and excellence in insect systematics
  • Application Procedure
  • Deadline: February 16, 2013
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SEQ concours photos/SEQ photo contest

Par/by Guillaume Dury
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Chaque année, la Société d’Entomologie du Québec organise un concours photos, afin de trouver les couvertures du bulletin de la société, intitulé Antennae.

Pour aller avec le thème de la conférence de cette année « Entomologie et agriculture biologique; de l’écologie à la pratique », j’ai choisi le thème « formidable prédateurs à l’action ».

17 photos ont été soumises au total, et les trois gagnantes ont été choisies par vote populaire des conférenciers. Puisque j’était en charge du concours, j’ai décidé du système de vote. Chaque conférencier devait donner son choix de trois photos préférées. 3 points ont ensuite été attribués pour un premier choix, 2 pour le deuxième et 1 pour le troisième. Chaque photographe ne pouvait gagner qu’un des trois prix. Je suis heureux de présenter les photos gagnantes.
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Every year, the Entomological Society of Quebec organizes a photo contest to find cover photos for its bulletin, called Antennae.

To go along this year’s conference theme « Entomology and organic agriculture; from ecology to application » (my translation), the photo contest theme was « formidable predators in action ».

17 photos were submitted in total, and the three winners were chosen by popular vote of conference attendees. Since I was in charge of the contest, I got to decide the voting scheme. Each attendee was asked to give his first, second and third favourite photos. I then counted 3 points for each first choice, 2 points for second and 1 point for third. Each photographer was only allowed to win one prize. I’m happy to present the winning photos.

First

Première position/First Place: Julien Saguez

Second

Deuxième position/Second Place: Roxanne Bernard

Troisième position/Third Place: Julie-Éléonore Maisonhaute

Troisième position/Third Place: Julie-Éléonore Maisonhaute

Félicitation encore aux gagnants!

Congratulation again to the winners!

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ESC Photo Contest results are in!

The results of the Eighth Annual ESC Photo Contest have been announced!  Judges Kirk Hillier, Kenna MacKenzie, and Rick West faced a difficult task, selecting the winners from among 67 high-quality entries.

The top seven selection will be printed on the cover of all issues of Volume 145 (2013) of The Canadian Entomologist.  The photos were chosen primarily for their composition and quality, but judges also tried to spread the winning entries across insect orders, and to have no more than one winning photo per photographer. The final results are:

First Place: Bob Lalonde, « Halictid on fireweed ». A female Agapostemon sp. (Halictidae), foraging on fireweed in June on the UBC Okanagan (Kelowna) campus.

Second Place: Ward Strong, « Stinkbug eggs ». Stinkbug eggs found on the foliage of lodgepole pine, Tappen BC.

Third Place: Julian Dupuis, « Papilio larva on Artemesia ». Larva of Papilio machaon dodi (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae), on Artemesia dracunculus, near Drumheller, AB

Fourth Place: Crystal Ernst, « Stratiomys badia ». An impressive bee mimic, Stratiomys badia (Stratiomyidae) rests in a garden at dusk, in Chesterville, Ontario.

Fifth Place: John McLean, « Honeybee Drone pupae ». Late stage pupae of the honey bee Apis mellifera L. dissected as part of a search for breeding varroa mite (none found). Taken from a hive in the Gisborne area on the East Coast of the North Island of New Zealand, March 2012.

Sixth Place: Tim Haye, « Pachycoris klugii nymphs ». Nymphs of Pachycoris klugii on Jatropha cucras tree (Tehuacan, Chiapas, Mexico).

Seventh Place: Christa Rigney, « Dakota Skipper on Yarrow ». A gravid female of the Threatened Dakota skipper, Hesperia dacotae (Skinner) (Hesperiidae) perched on Yarrow, Achillea millefolium (L.) (Asteracea) in a tallgrass prairie northeast of Deleau, Manitoba

A slideshow of all of the beautiful photographs entered in this year’s Competition is now displayed on the ESC Website, here. Congratulations to the winners!!!

If you missed this year’s competition, don’t fret! There is still time to submit your own images to another ESC-sponsored photo contest! ESC (or other regional society) members attending this year’s Joint Annual Meeting in Alberta have until October 30th to get their best shots of the year in to the judges of the 2012 JAM Photo Contest.

Thank you one and all for your participation, and keep those shutters clicking!

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Fellows of the Entomological Society of Canada, 2012

A few weeks ago, Rose De Clerke-Floate wrote a post about her experiences as the Chair of the ESC Achievement Awards Committee and announced the recipients of the Gold Medal and the C. Gordon Hewitt Award. Today, she announces additional honours bestowed upon more of our valued members.
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We applaud the following worthy members of the Entomological Society of Canada (ESC) whom are to be made Fellows of our Society in recognition of their major contributions to entomology.

Dr. Robb Bennett

Dr Robb Bennett is exemplary in his scientific contributions and dedicated service to entomology in Canada. As an entomologist with the British Columbia (B.C.) Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (1992-2010), he created and expanded a major research program in cone and seed pest management that had international collaborative spread and influence. His successful lobbying for provincial support garnered $400,000 in annual funding and the establishment of the Pest Management Technical Advisory Committee of the B.C. Forest Genetics Council, which he initially chaired (2003-2010). During this period, his participation was critical for ground-breaking research that produced the first ever description of a cecidomyiid fly pheromone (named “Bennettin” in recognition of his work), and the use of infrared radiation by a herbivore in host-finding (Leptoglossus occidentalis). Dr Bennett also is highly respected as one of Canada’s leading spider systematists, and has shared this expertise through volunteer curation of the spider collections at the Royal British Columbia Museum (Victoria), where he is a Research Associate, and the Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes (Ottawa) (CNC). The results of his scientific efforts are 45 peer-reviewed papers, 44 technical publications, 3 on-line arthropod identification guides, and the mentoring of many undergraduate and graduate students. He also has been an active advocate in conservation entomology where he has volunteered on various committees as a Specialist, Member or Chair: for example, B.C. Ministry of Environment Invertebrates-at-Risk Team (2001-06), Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, Arthropods Specialists Subcommittee (2006-present). Of particular note have been his contributions to the ESC, for which he has served on several committees starting in 1998 and as Editor-in-Chief of The Canadian Entomologist (TCE) (2007-11). In the latter role, he is to be commended especially for elevating the quality of the journal, thereby setting a solid stage for its move to electronic publication and a new publisher.

Dr. Gary Gibson

Dr Gary Gibson is internationally respected for his research contributions in the taxonomy and systematics of the Chalcidoidea (Hymenoptera), contributing significantly to our understanding of the evolution, morphology and systematics of this group of parasitoid wasps for over 30 years. During his productive career as a Research Scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), Ottawa, the taxonomy of numerous chalcidoid taxa has been stabilized and unified for use by others, particularly those involved in pest management research. He has long been committed to providing taxonomic support in the identification of parasitoids for use as biological control agents against insect pests affecting some of Canada’s major agricultural industries (e.g., canola, dairy and beef). His publication record of 59 refereed papers, 19 books and book chapters, and numerous technology transfer articles, including on the internet, has allowed a broad outreach of his valuable research. Particularly notable is his leadership in being one of the first to develop web-based insect identification services.

Dr Gibson also is being recognized for his long-time dedicated service to entomology within AAFC and the ESC. He has served in various capacities to enhance the CNC and the CanaColl Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports visits by experts to curate portions of the CNC. In his 30+ years as an active member of the ESC, he has also served in a number of societal roles, including as Associate Editor of TCE (1990-95), Chair of the Finance Committee (1992-95), and Treasurer (1996-2004).

Dr. Neil Holliday

During his 35 year career as a faculty entomologist at the University of Manitoba (U of M), where he is currently an emeritus professor, Dr Neil Holliday has contributed significantly in the areas of crop protection and forest entomology research, entomology education, student mentorship and departmental and societal administration. His research interests and internationally-recognized contributions range from the population biology and ecology of carabid beetles and geometrid moths, the biodiversity of arthropods in natural and managed ecosystems, to the more applied studies of biological and cultural control of insect pests of forests and crops. The tangible output of his efforts has been 60 peer-reviewed papers and 82 other publications providing extension of his work to the scientific community, agricultural industry and public. He is particularly respected as a dedicated and hard-working educator, who has taught in 24 different university courses mostly in agricultural science and entomology, supervised or co-supervised 34 graduate students and 20 undergraduate student projects, and has earned 2 teaching awards (U of M; 1991, 2009). He has excelled at administrative tasks and his service on several ESC committees over the years has been greatly appreciated. He also served for 15 years at the U of M as Head of the only remaining Department of Entomology in Canada, during which time he led its rescue from near extinction. The Department has recently hired three entomology faculty members and an instructor, thereby adding new blood and a sense of optimism to the Canadian entomological community at large.  In recognition of his many outstanding contributions to Canadian entomology, Dr Holliday received the ESC’s Gold Medal in 2009.

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3rd Annual ESO BugEye Photo Contest

Got a great insect photo? Submit it to the 3rd Annual BugEye Photo Contest presented by the Entomological Society of Ontario!

Acorn Weevil by Crystal Ernst

2011 Winning Photo, Open Category: Acorn Weevil by Crystal Ernst

Prizes for:
– Best photo (open category): $50
– Best photo by an Ontario resident: $50
– Best photo of an Ontario insect: $50
– Best photo by a kid under 13: $50

Open to everyone, no entry fee!
(Ontario resident includes anyone who currently makes their primary residence in Ontario, international students welcome!).

Submission deadline: Sept. 6th, 2012

Submit photos to: esophotos@gmail.com

Winners announced: September 30th, 2012

Copyright for the photo remains with the photographer, use must be granted for ESO promotional material. Winning photos will be displayed on the ESO website, and all entries will be displayed at the 149th Annual General Meeting of the ESO.

Interested in meeting other entomologists and learning more about Ontario insects? Join ESO! It’s free for students and amateurs, and only $30 for others. Get more information at http://www.entsocont.ca.

Rules:
1. Photos must be of insects or closely-related arthropods (e.g. mites, spiders).
2. Submissions must be as digital files
3. Photographic enhancement is allowed as long as it is something that could be achieved in a real darkroom (i.e. adjustment of contrast, color enhancement, cropping, etc.). However very obvious enhancements will be negatively scored.
4. You may submit up to 3 unique images per category.
5. Submit photos as 7.5 x 10 inches in size at 300 dpi (2250 x 3000 pixels), in .jpg format, with filename as title_lastname_firstinitial.jpg (e.g. dragonfly_smith_j.jpg).
6. Photos may be landscape or portrait in orientation.
7. Print photos must be scanned and submitted as digital files.

Please include a short description of your photo:
1. Where they were taken
2. Why you like them
3. What insect is pictured
4. What category is being entered
5. Your complete address

Judging criteria:
1. Image composition
2. Visual impact
3. Subject interest
4. Sharpness of subject
5. Difficulty of image acquisition
6. Depth of field within image

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Exceptional Canadian Entomologists Recognized with ESC’s Top Honours

By Rose De Clerck-Floate, Chair of the ESC Achievement Awards Committee
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On June 4 I was on a high despite it being the end of a long work day, and a Monday no less. This is because I had the pleasure of informing two distinguished Canadian entomologists that they will be this year’s recipients of our Society’s most prestigious awards; the Gold Medal and the C. Gordon Hewitt Award.

Last December when embarking on my duties as Chair of the Achievement Awards Committee, I had no idea of how the whole process of serving on the Committee which receives and reviews the nominations and then selects the nominees for final ESC Board vote, would profoundly expand my understanding and appreciation of both our entomologist colleagues and our Society. First, I thoroughly enjoyed working with the Committee, which was made up of well-respected and accomplished entomologists in their own right. Secondly, I was taken aback by the quality of candidates, which made our job of choosing only one nominee per award challenging. Finally, I was impressed with the nomination packages themselves, and by how eagerly and selflessly our members rose to the large task of pulling together these rather detailed and long documents during their busy lives.  It spoke volumes of the dedication, volunteerism, and team-work of our members, and ultimately, how vibrant we are as a Society.

When I placed the calls, I was both excited and nervous; the latter because there is a fair dash of humility that comes with realizing that these people, even though they are acquaintances and I have interacted with them in the past, all of a sudden stand out as amazing both academically and in their capacity for giving back to the communities they are part of. I honestly had no idea how accomplished they were until reading the nomination packages. Wow! Quickly though, their own humility shone through the phone call; both were thrilled and honored by the news, with one blurting with heartfelt candor, “I have always so loved entomology, and to be recognized by my fellow entomologists means a great deal to me”.

So what our current Prez, Michel Cusson, told me in December is very true. Having the opportunity to tell someone that they are being honored by peers for their contributions to science and society is really a very special moment. And for someone (i.e., me) who has never taken the time to nominate another for one of the awards our Society has to offer annually, this experience also has transformed me. I am now looking more closely at my colleagues; appreciating who they are and what they are contributing to Canadian entomology, and seeing future nominations everywhere! My hope is that others will be inspired down the same fulfilling path of recognizing and giving on behalf of our Society.

After all this, I guess I should let you know who the recipients of this year’s honors are: congratulations to Dr. Felix Sperling for being the awardee of the Gold Medal, and Dr. Brent Sinclair, awardee of the C. Gordon Hewitt Award…….more details to come.

Dr. Felix Sperling, recipient of the ESC Gold Medal

Dr. Brent Sinclair, recipient of the ESC C. Gordon Hewitt Award