This seminar took place on November 27th, 2020. Our guest speakers were Drs. Jorge Zavala (FAUBA, CONICET, Argentina) and Sean Prager (Usask, Canada), whose research areas involve plant-insect interactions. Their research talks focused on sucking-piercing herbivores, namely stink bugs, psyllids, and leafhoppers.

Dr. Jorge Zavala

Dr. Jorge Zavala is a CONICET principal researcher and a professor from the School of Agriculture of University of Buenos Aires. He holds a PhD in chemical ecology and works with plant–insect interactions in agroecosystems. His research aims at an integrated approach to soybean chemical defenses, stink bugs resistance strategies, and stink bugs gut microbial diversity.

His talk was titled: "Stink bugs strategies to feed on field-grown soybean and avoid plant defenses". 

Dr. Sean Prager

Dr. Sean Prager is an entomologist in the departments of Plant Sciences and Biology at the University of Saskatchewan. He holds a PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary biology. His research focuses on the applied and fundamental aspects of insect ecology, particularly with respect to crops, bees, and disease vectors.

His talk was titled: "Plant and pathogen-mediated interactions in sucking insects". 

Prager Lab

This seminar was hosted on December 18th, 2020. Our guest speakers were Drs. Patricia Fernández (CIHIDECAR-CONICET, Argentina) and Tyler Wist (AAFC SRDC, Canada), who shared their research about integrated pest management.


Dr. Patricia Fernández
Dr. Fernández is a CONICET researcher and a professor from the School of Agriculture of the University of Buenos Aires. She holds a PhD in chemical ecology. She works with plant – insect interactions, focusing on plant volatiles and other secondary metabolites associated to leaf surfaces that can affect oviposition and/or feeding choices and how these cues change following insect damage.


Her talk is titled "Seeking of host plant by chemical cues in herbivore insects".

Dr. Tyler Wist 

Dr. Wist works as a field crop entomologist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to understand the effects of crop-ravaging insects on their host plants. He spends a lot of time in wheat and pulse crops these days, looking at plant resistance to wheat midge and insecticide timing for pea aphids and still takes walks through cereal crops to check on cereal aphids and their natural enemies.

His talk is titled: "The cereal aphid manager app". Tyler will take you through the development of the Cereal Aphid Manager app and its Dynamic Action Threshold to incorporate natural enemies into the cereal aphid economic threshold.

Check the latest posts by Dr. Wist

Cereal Aphid Manager Mobile App


Our guest speakers were Drs. Pablo Schilman (University of Buenos Aires-CONICET, Argentina) and Maarten Voordouw (University of Saskatchewan, Canada), who shared their research about blood-feeding arthropods.

Dr. Pablo Schilman 

Dr. Schilman is a CONICET researcher and a professor at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. His main area of research is insect’s eco-physiology. He is interested in the physiological adaptations of insects to their environment. In particular, how abiotic factors such as water availability and temperature affect the behavior and physiology of insects and which are their physiological limitations for the geographical distribution.

His talk was titled "Thermotolerance in vectors of Chagas disease".

Dr. Maarten Voordouw 

Dr. Voordouw has been an assistant professor in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology at the University of Saskatchewan since 2018. His work focuses on host-parasite interactions, vector-borne diseases, multiple-strain pathogens and the ecology of mixed infections, Lyme disease and other tick-borne infections.

His talk was titled: "The ecology of ticks that transmit Lyme disease – a tale of mast, mice, and time lags".


This talk was based on the following work:

Bregnard et al. 2020 Parasites & Vectors

Bregnard et al. 2021 Parasites & Vectors


Find out more about Dr. Voordouw´s research line 

This seminar was held on March 26th, 2021. Our guest speakers Dr. Fernanda Cingolani (CEPAVE-CONICET-UNLP, Argentina) and Dr. Héctor Cárcamo (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Canada) talked about the use of biological control agents on insect pests such as pentatomids, cereal leaf beetle, and weevils.



"My main interest is the study of the biology and ecology of parasitoid (Hymenoptera and Diptera), in particular those associated with phytophagous hemipteran pests belonging to the family Pentatomidae. My studies have focused on analyzing pest-natural enemies dynamics, with particular interest in interspecific interactions among parasitoids." Dr. Fernanda Cingolani

Her talk was titled: "Potentials of parasitoids for biological control of redbanded stink bug Piezodorus guildinii (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae)."

Find Dr. Cingolani on ResearchGate

Latest publications


"For the past 21 years I have been researching management strategies for insect pests of field crops, including canola, cereals, forages, and pulses. These strategies include validation of economic thresholds, and development and integration of biological and cultural control approaches with chemical control to improve the sustainability of crop production. I am also interested in biodiversity conservation studies, and the role of natural enemies in contributing to pest management." Dr. Héctor Cárcamo

His talk was titled: "To relocate or not to relocate? Some considerations before moving biocontrol agents within a country."

Find out more about Dr. Cárcamo

Latest publications

Our guest speakers were Drs. Sandra Rehan (York University, Canada) and Walter Farina (University of Buenos Aires - IFIBYME/CONICET, Argentina), who shared their latest results about genomics and behavior in small carpenter bees and managed social bees. 
Sandra Rehan

"The small carpenter bees (genus Ceratina) are of special interest to the study of social evolution. Species range from solitary to eusocial and benefit from detailed behavioural research and well-established phylogeny. Here, I present genomic, brain, and behavioural data, highlighting the importance of simple societies and facultatively social taxa to examine the evolution of social traits." Dr. Sandra Rehan

Her talk is titled: "Genes, Brain and Behaviour of Ceratina Small Carpenter Bees and the Evolution of Early Insect Societies."

Rehan Lab


Walter Farina 

"One third of the world's agricultural production comes from crops that require pollinators. The honeybee Apis mellifera and the bumblebee Bombus sp. are the most dominant pollinators in agricultural environments and their economic relevance has increased in recent decades due to the growth of the areas used in crops dependent on them. Despite the contributions obtained by agronomic and veterinary sciences to improve the relationship between bees and crops, the knowledge from the behavioral sciences, physiology and ecology of these social insects has been scarcely considered to achieve greater efficiency in pollination and agricultural yield. Nowadays it is clear that the communication systems of social bees along with their cognitive and sensory abilities are central to understanding not only how information about the discovered resources is used, but also how quickly it spreads and persists within their colonies. These knowledges have stimulated us to deepen into experimental approaches that combine areas as diverse as the neurobiology of behavior and the ecology of pollination in order to improve the relationship pollinator-flower in commercial crops." Dr. Walter Farina

His talk is titled: "Cognitive ecology in managed social bees as crop pollinators."

Farina Lab

Find Dr. Farina on ResearchGate

Latest publications

*The full recording is now available to registrants*

Our guest speakers were Drs. Catherine Scott (University of Toronto Scarborough, Canada) and David Vrech (LABRE-IDEA, UNC, Argentina), who shared their latest results about the reproductive behaviour of black widows spiders and scorpions. 


"How do male spiders find rare receptive females in a variable environment? A look at how the availability of chemical information, the distribution of potential mates in space and time, and alternative mating tactics can influence sexual selection in nature." Dr. Catherine Scott

Her talk was titled: "Web-based personal ads & the silk road: chemical communication & mate searching in black widow spiders."

Andrade Lab

C. Scott website



"This is a talk that shows different aspects of reproductive biology from the male´s perspective. This approach is not whinsical, but responds to the ease of study of the male side. We will fisrt analyze spermatozoa, how they are present in storage and how could have evolved. Then we will talk about sperm production per se, comparing different species and different strategies. Finally we will see an experimental approach on sperm production and how males strategies may influence sperm allocation during the reproductive season." Dr. David Vrech

His talk was titled: "Sperm production in Scorpions: Models for understanding reproductive dynamics in an ancient arthropod group"




*The full recording is now available to registrants*

This seminar was hosted on June 25, 2021. Our guest speakers were Drs. Romina Giacometti (INBA-CONICET, Argentina) and Gary Felton (Penn State University, USA), who shared their latest results about insect saliva components and plant physiological responses to insect attack.


"The stink bug Nezara viridula is one of the most threatening pests for agriculture in North and South America, costing a total of 1 gazillion dollars to producers. Its oral secretion may be responsible for the damage it causes in soybean crop. The high level of injury to seeds caused by pentatomids is related to their feeding behavior, morphology of mouth parts, and saliva, though information on the specific composition of the oral secretion is scarce. In this presentation I will show you results from field studies conducted to evaluate the biochemical damage produced by herbivory to developing soybean seeds, but also how the saliva of the insect triggers the plant alarm to counterattack! Overall, our results add to our understanding of stink bug saliva plasticity and its role in the struggle against soybean defenses."

Her talk was titled "Nezara viridula watery saliva induces defensive soybean seed responses (a tale told from the plant perspective)".




"Our recent work show that a caterpillar uses a silvery secretion to actively suppress the emission of green leaf volatiles (GLVs). GLVs are important cues that attract natural enemies and serve as signals in plant communication." Dr. Gary Felton

His talk was titled "Herbivores disrupt airborne plant defenses". 

Gary Felton PSU