Award Winners

The Canadian Council of University Biology Chairs (CCUBC) offers several awards each year.

2020 CCUBC Undergraduate Paper Award

Jaime M. Chalissery

Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C.

Ants sense, and follow, trail pheromones of ant community members (PDF)

Jaime Chalissery Nominaiton Letter (PDF)

Dr. Gerhard Gries letter of Support for Jaime Chalissery(PDF)

Jaime M. Chalissery completed his Bachelors of Science at Simon Fraser University, BC in 2018, focusing on Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation in Biological Sciences. Jaime's undergraduate research led to various opportunities, but kept bringing him back to Dr. Gerhard Gries' lab and studying animal communication. Jaime worked with European fire ants, Myrmica rubra, trying to understand they're pheromone communication and diet preferences, but branched out with a side project to explore how M. rubra as well as two other common BC ant species (Camponotus modoc and Lasius niger) respond to both con- and heterospecific trail pheromones, via antennal recognition and behavioural trail following experiments. This culmination of a substantial data set has led to publication of "Ants sense, and follow, trail pheromones of ant community members" as the cover story in "Insects" that explores how these ants potentially eavesdrop on other species communication methods! Jaime's love for entomology and research has only grown as he joined Dr. Gries' lab at Simon Fraser University as a Masters of Pest Management student. Jaime continues to research the pheromone communication and diet preference of M. rubra, but has expanded his research topics, with various extra projects and collaborations, to include a wider variety of ants and continue to explore their interactions with each other.

2020 CCUBC Graduate Student Research Prize

Adam Blake
Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC

Polarization of foliar reflectance – novel host plant cue for insect herbivores (PDF)

Adam Blake Nomination Letter

Dr. Gerhard Gries letter of Support for Adam Blake (PDF)

Adam J. Blake completed a MSc degree at the University of Alberta before joining Dr. Gerhard Gries's lab at Simon Fraser University for his PhD in 2012. His PhD project investigates the use of polarized light as a host location and selection cue in phytophagous insects, focusing on the cabbage white butterfly (Pieris rapae) as a model organism. To maximize their fitness insects must choose between hosts using olfactory, tactile and visual cues. The study of visual cues in host selection has focused on the spectral characteristics of host plants despite the fact that there is often greater variation in polarization characteristics. The aim of his PhD research was to demonstrate that insects use this sensitivity to polarized light as part of the larger host plant template. This aim was fulfilled with the publication of his paper "Polarization of foliar reflectance – novel host plant cue for insect herbivores". Adam will be defending his PhD this December (2020), and will continue on in the Gries lab in the Department of Biological Sciences at Simon Fraser University as a post-doctoral research fellow. He will be applying his considerable expertise in insect vision and polarized light to new systems including biting flies, mosquitos, and click beetles.

2020 CCUBC Science Promotion Prize

Was not awarded

2020 CCUBC Career Achievement Award

Was not awarded

Last Updated November 3, 2020