On January 1, 2022 the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) signed a Read-Publish (R-P) agreement with Cambridge University Press (CUP), the publisher of The Canadian Entomologist (TCE). R-P agreements provide unlimited reading and Open Access publishing at no cost to authors affiliated with participating institutions. The CRKN represents 42 academic institutions across Canada. CUP has also now signed similar agreements with a large number of institutions around the world.
This is a significant development for TCE and provides an unprecedented opportunity for our members and anyone else associated with those institutions to read and publish Open Access articles at no cost to their research programs in our journal. Affiliation of the corresponding author – including adjunct affiliation as demonstrated by an institutional email address – determines the applicability of the R-P agreement.
For more information please see below:
Announcement of the Read-Publish Agreement between CRKN and CUP: https://www.crkn-rcdr.ca/en/crkn-announces-transformative-agreement-cambridge-university-press.
Check on Open Access Agreements at your institution in Canada or elsewhere: https://www.cambridge.org/core/services/open-access-policies/waivers-discounts
An exciting new position for an M.Sc. student is available through a multidisciplinary research program
involving researchers from the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta and the
Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute.
The successful applicant will contribute to the local and regional biodiversity assessment of Edmonton,
Alberta, and surrounding areas to assess potential introductions and dispersal mechanisms of oribatid
mites. Research will include work on the systematics and taxonomy of the Galumnoidea of Alberta.
The successful candidate will have a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree or equivalent by August 2022.
Desired skills include experience identifying small invertebrates using dissecting and light microscopy.
The candidate must be academically competitive and expected to work with a network of acarologists,
entomologists, and biodiversity scientists across Canada, and with oribatid experts outside of Canada as
The stipend is for 2.3 years with an annual amount of approximately $25,197, part of which will come
from teaching assistantships. The candidate’s M.Sc. program will be based in the Department of
Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. The candidate must either be a Canadian
citizen or have residency approval to start the program in September 2022.
See flyer for more information including application procedures, and contact Dr. Lisa Lumley
(firstname.lastname@example.org) or Dr. Heather Proctor (email@example.com) for additional information and questions.
Deadline to apply is 15 January, 2022.
Graduate Student Showcase 2021: Call for Applications
Graduate students are invited to apply to present their research at the Graduate Student Showcase (GSS), held during the Joint Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of Canada and the Entomological Society of Ontario (Nov 15-18, 2021). The purpose of the GSS is to provide a high-profile opportunity for graduate students near the completion of their degrees to present a more in-depth overview of their thesis research.
Applicants to the GSS must:
- have defended or plan to defend their thesis at a Canadian University within one year of the meeting
- be the principal investigator and principal author of the presented work
- be registered at the meeting
Eligible candidates who wish to be considered for the GSS must submit a complete application to firstname.lastname@example.org, following the instructions below. Items 1-3 must be submitted in a single PDF file named in the format “FamilyName_GSSapplication.pdf”.
1) Submit a 250 word abstract describing the proposed presentation highlighting their work,
2) Submit a 1 page (single-spaced, 12 point) outline of their research, including rationale/significance, methodology, and results to date,
3) Include a CV that includes a list of previous conference presentations and other presentation experience.
4) Arrange to have the principal supervisor email a letter of support in a PDF file that confirms the anticipated or actual date of graduation and comments on the proposed presentation and the applicant’s presentation and research abilities. Please ask your supervisor to name the letter of support in the format “FamilyName_GSSLetterOfSupport.pdf”, where Family Name is the applicant’s family name.
In addition to the above materials, applicants are welcome – but by no means required – to submit supplementary information about any factors that may have influenced their application (e.g., factors that may have limited access to publication or presentation opportunities). Please note that the supplementary information will be considered confidential, being viewed exclusively by members of the Graduate Student Showcase Selection Committee.
The GSS application deadline falls on the same day as the annual meeting deadline for contributed talks. For the 2021 GSS, all application materials must be submitted by September 13, 2021. We will select up to four (4) recipients. All applicants will be notified of the status of their application. Unsuccessful applicants to the GSS will have their talks automatically moved to a President’s Prize Oral session.
Differences between the GSS and the President’s Prize (PP) Competition include:
- The GSS will take place in its own dedicated time slot; there will be no conflicting talks!
- Presenters in the GSS are given more time to speak about their research (28 minutes total, 25 for the presentation & 3 for questions)
- Abstracts for talks presented in the GSS are published in the ESC Bulletin, an open access publication, received by all ESC members.
- The selection process for the GSS is competitive (only selected students speak), compared to the PP where all students who enter speak but only one per category receives a prize.
- All presenters in the GSS receive an honorarium of $200.
We encourage and welcome applications from all eligible individuals, especially those who identify with groups that are underrepresented in STEM and entomology. The Entomological Society of Canada values diversity in all its forms and seeks to represent the breadth of Canadian entomological research and researcher identities through its GSS. Supervisors, please encourage your students to apply and please help us to spread the word! Any questions can be directed to email@example.com.
Matt Muzzatti and Rowan French
Co-Chairs of ESC’s Student and Early Professional Affairs Committee (SEPAC)
ESC members are invited to a participate in a research study on interference with environmental research in Canada conducted by a Master’s Thesis student from the School of Resource and Environment Studies, at Dalhousie University.
Purpose: To document scientists’ perceptions of their ability to conduct and communicate environmental research in Canada.
Eligibility: If you are currently working in Canada in the field of environmental studies or sciences, you will be asked to answer questions about your work, personal demographics (e.g., career stage, gender, etc.) and to recount any experiences with interference in your ability to conduct or communicate your work.
This survey is anonymous. It should take you 20 – 30 minutes to complete.
Impact: Results from this academic research will be presented at national fora on science policy and decision-making and could have policy implications that will directly affect your future work.
Incentive: Participants who complete the survey will have the option to provide their email address to enter a draw and win one of three $50 gift cards or donations to the organization of their choice. Email addresses will be collected separately from the survey to maintain anonymity in responses and will be kept confidential.
The deadline to complete the survey is on or before 11:59pm ADT on Sunday, August 15, 2021.
Follow this link to the Survey: Interference in Science Survey Link
Or copy and paste the URL below into your internet browser: https://rowebusiness.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_aeHh5GmYXUMfoXk
If you have questions or concerns, please contact the research team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you very much. Your participation is important to us.
Manjulika E. Robertson
on behalf of the Westwood Lab
School for Resource and Environment Studies
Dalhousie University, Halifax (K’jipuktuk), Nova Scotia
Do insects feel pain? Many of us probably ask ourselves this question. We swat mosquitoes, step on ants, and spray poison on cockroaches, assuming, or perhaps hoping, that they can’t – but can they? As someone who studies the physiology behind insect behaviour, I’ve wondered about it myself. Those thoughts motivated me to examine the question from the perspective of evolution, neurobiology and robotics.
To find out whether insects feel pain, we first need to agree on what pain is. Pain is a personal subjective experience that includes negative emotions. Pain is different from nociception, which is the ability to respond to damaging stimuli. All organisms have nociception. Even bacteria can move away from harmful environments such as high pH. But not all animals feel pain. The question, then, is do insects have subjective experiences such as emotions and the ability to feel pain?
We’ve probably all observed insects struggling in a spider’s web or writhing after being sprayed with insecticide; they look like they might be in pain. Insects can also learn to avoid electric shocks, suggesting that they don’t like being shocked. However, just as I was appreciating how much some insect behaviour looked like our pain behaviour, I realized that Artificial Intelligence (e.g. robots and virtual characters) can also display similar behaviours (e.g. see (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxyGwH7Ku5Y). Think about how virtual characters can realistically express pain in video games such as “The Last of Us” (e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQWD5W3fpPM). Researchers have developed circuits allowing robots and other AI to simulate emotional states (e.g. ‘joy’, ‘anger’, ‘fear’). These circuits alter how the robot/virtual character responds to its environment (i.e. the same stimulus produces a different response depending on the AI’s ‘emotion’). However, this does not mean that robots or virtual characters are ‘feeling’ these emotions. AI shows us that behaviour may not be the best guide to an insect’s internal experience.
Given that behaviour seemed an unreliable guide, I then looked for neurobiological evidence that insects feel pain. Unfortunately, the insect brain is very different from the human brain. However, once we understand how our brains perceive pain, we may be able to search for circuits that are functionally similar in insects. Research in humans suggests that pain perception is created by complex neural networks that link up the necessary brain areas. These types of networks require massive bidirectional connections across multiple brain regions. Insect brains also have interconnections across different brain areas. However, these interconnections are often quite modest. For example, the mushroom bodies in the insect brain are critical for learning and memory. Although the mushroom bodies contain thousands of neurons, in fruit flies, for example, they have only 21 output neurons. In humans, our memory area, the hippocampus, has hundreds of thousands of output neurons. The lack of output neurons in insects limits the ability of the insect brain to sew together the traits that create pain in us (e.g. sensory information, memory, and emotion).
Finally, I considered the question from an evolutionary perspective. How likely it is that evolution would select for insects to feel pain? In evolution, traits evolve if the benefits of a trait outweigh its costs. Unfortunately, nervous systems are expensive for animals. Insects have a small, economical, nervous system. Additional neurons dedicated to an ‘emotional’ neural circuit would be relatively expensive in terms of energetics and resources. If it is possible to produce the same behaviour without the cost, then evolution will select for the cheaper option. Robots show that there could be cheaper ways.
The subjective experience of pain is unlikely to be an all-or-none phenomenon. Asking whether insects feel pain forces us to consider what we would accept as a subjective experience of pain. What if it was devoid of emotional content? What if cognition is not involved? If insects have any type of subjective experience of pain, it is likely to be something that will be very different from our pain experience. It is likely to lack key features such as ‘distress’, ‘sadness’, and other states that require the synthesis of emotion, memory and cognition. In other words, insects are unlikely to feel pain as we understand it. So – should we still swat mosquitoes? Probably, but a case can be made that all animals deserve our respect, regardless of their ability to feel pain.
Adamo, S. (2019). Is it pain if it does not hurt? On the unlikelihood of insect pain. The Canadian Entomologist, 1-11. doi:10.4039/tce.2019.49 (Paper made available to read for FREE until Sept. 16, 2019 in cooperation with Cambridge University Press)
MSc Graduate Student Opportunity in the Department of Biology, University of Winnipeg
Project title: Developing a laboratory rearing technique for the endangered Poweshiek skipperling and assessing the feasibility of introduction into tall grass prairie habitats in Manitoba.
Objectives: The Poweshiek skipperling (Oarisma poweshiek) is an Endangered butterfly species that is in critical danger of becoming extinct. Less than 500 individuals remain in the wild and the grasslands of southeastern Manitoba represent one of the species’ last strongholds. The species inhabits remnant patches of tall-grass prairie and in the past 10 years has greatly declined across its historical range. Working at both the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg and the University of Winnipeg, the student will help develop laboratory rearing techniques and to determine the feasibility of reintroducing the Poweshiek skipperling into tall grass prairie sites where it has been extirpated or new potential prairie habitat. The student will study life history factors (such as mortality and survivorship of various development stages) and evaluate potential tall grass prairie sites for reintroduction. This study is in coordination with the University of Winnipeg, Assiniboine Park Zoo, and Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC).
I will admit that the headline was thoroughly and completely “click bait”. That’s because I was worried that “The new ESC Science Policy Committee and its mandate” would have you move along to the next article. And I hope that giving you the goods now on what this article is about doesn’t cause that right… now.
For those of you who are still with me, and I hope that is a majority of our members, I am aware that policy is not generally considered an exciting topic. But in this era of climate change, environmental degradation, increasing population pressure on our agricultural and silvicultural output, emergent and spreading vector-borne diseases, research funding challenges, and rapidly shifting politics in Canada and many of our largest trading partners, we as entomologists cannot merely sit back and let policy happen. We need to engage with policy makers to encourage careful decision making with the long view in mind.
Our diverse Society membership has an equally diverse set of skills and perspectives to offer to Canadians and the rest of the world. But engagement can only happen if we are willing to put fingers on the pulse of various issues, and to collaboratively marshal responses to issues as they begin to emerge. In other words, we can only be effective if we are able to anticipate in time and react with collective care and wisdom.
Over the past many years, the ESC has maintained a Science Policy and Education Committee. That committee has been effective in many areas including over the past several years:
- expressing concern to the federal government about travel restrictions on federal scientists wishing to attend ESC meetings,
- encouraging the continued support of the Experimental Lakes Area,
- responding to NSERC consultations, and
- drafting the ESC Policy Statement on Biodiversity Access and Benefit Sharing which was later adopted by our Society.
However, because the combination of both public education and public policy was a substantial and growing mandate, the ESC Executive Council Committee decided in 2015 to split the committee into two, each part taking care of one of the two former aspects.
In October 2016 I was asked to chair and help to formulate the new ESC Science Policy Committee. Your committee now consists of (in alphabetical order):
- Patrice Bouchard (ESC First VP, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)
- Crystal Ernst (appointed member, postdoctoral fellow at Simon Fraser University)
- Neil Holliday, (ESC President, ex officio committee member, University of Manitoba)
- Dezene Huber (appointed member as academic representative, Chair 2016/2017, University of Northern British Columbia)
- Fiona Hunter (ESC Second VP, Brock University)
- Rachel Rix (appointed member and student and early professional representative, Dalhousie University)
- Amanda Roe (appointed member as government representative, Natural Resources Canada – Canadian Forest Service)
Each executive member’s term is specified by their ESC executive term. Each appointed member is a member for up to 3 years. The Chair position is appointed on a yearly basis. The terms of reference specify that the committee should contain members “who (represent) the Student (and Early Professional) Affairs Committee, and preferably one professional entomologist employed in government service and one employed in academia.”
We are officially tasked “(t)o monitor government, industry and NGO science policies, to advise the Society when the science of entomology and our Members are affected, and to undertake tasks assigned by the Board that are designed to interpret, guide, or shift science policy.”
We are now working on putting together an agenda, and have started to work on a few items. For instance, you may recall an eBlast requesting participation in Canada’s Fundamental Science Review that was initiated by Hon. Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science. We hope that some of you took the opportunity to send your thoughts to the federal government.
As we develop an agenda, we would like to consult with you, the ESC membership. Please tell us:
- What policy-related issues do you see emerging in your area of study, your realm of employment, or in the place that you live?
- How might the ESC Science Policy Committee integrate better with your concerns and those of the rest of the membership?
- How can our Society be more consultative and responsive to the membership and to issues as they arise?
- Who are the people and organizations with which ESC should be working closely on science policy issues?
- How can you be a part of science policy development, particularly as it relates to entomological practice and service in Canada and abroad?
Please email me at email@example.com with your thoughts, questions, and ideas. We know that many of you are already involved in this type of work, and we hope that we can act as synergists to your efforts and that you can help to further energize ours.
Dr. Dezene Huber
Chair, ESC Science Policy Committee
This article also appears in the March 2017 ESC Bulletin, Vol 48(1).
The Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, University of Manitoba invites applications from Indigenous (e.g., First Nations, Métis, Inuit) Scholars for a tenure-track position at the rank of Assistant Professor, commencing July 1, 2017, or as soon as possible thereafter, in one of the following broad disciplines: Agricultural Business/Economics; Food/Nutritional Sciences; or Agricultural Production/Ecology. Identification of a specific Department (Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, Animal Science, Biosystems Engineering, Entomology, Food Science, Human Nutritional Sciences, Plant Science, Soil Science) will be based on the area of specialty of the successful candidate. The position will be weighted at approximately 45% teaching, 40% research and 15% service/outreach. Qualified applicants must possess: a Ph.D. in a relevant discipline; a record of independent research as demonstrated by scholarly publications; the potential for developing an active externally-funded research program including supervision of graduate students; demonstrated ability or potential for excellence in undergraduate and graduate teaching; and excellent oral and written communication skills. The successful candidate will be required to teach undergraduate and graduate courses in their area of expertise with inclusion of Indigenous perspectives and approaches. We also envisage that the Scholar will work closely with other instructors to help include Indigenous knowledge and perspectives for all students.
Closing date for applications is February 27, 2017.
For more information & how to apply, see this flyer (PDF).
The Department of Horticulture at Oregon State University seeks outstanding candidates for a full-time, nine month, tenure track position titled: Extension Specialist—Vegetable and Specialty Seed Crops. The position is based at the North Willamette Research and Extension Center (NWREC) located in Aurora, OR—about 90 minutes north of Corvallis, OR and Oregon State University’s main campus. The position is at the assistant professor rank.
We seek an individual that will develop a regionally and nationally recognized, Extension outreach and research program in support of the fresh and processed vegetable and specialty seed crop industries. Extramural funding generated by the incumbent will help support this position and grow capacity. The appointment is 50% Extension, 30% research, 15% scholarship, and 5% service. Potential areas of emphasis could include, but are not limited to: pest management, irrigation, soil fertility and nutrient management, production science, food safety, marketing, environmental monitoring, technology and automation. The incumbent will be expected publish in peer-reviewed scientific journals and present at professional meetings. Also, the incumbent will be expected to work closely with other OSU faculty—on campus and off-campus who support vegetable and specialty seed crop research, teaching, Extension and outreach.
See flyer for more details & how to apply. Deadline November 20, 2016.
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