Winners of Robert O'Neil Outstanding PhD Award
2016 - Vincent Hervet
Vincent Hervet is completing his PhD in Dr. Floate’s laboaratory in Alberta, Canada. At the start of his MSc thesis, Vince received a colony of wasps from cabbage looper, obtained the correct species identification, and determined that the species was new to North America which was published in Canadian Entomologist. To assess its potential as a biocontrol agent, Vince since has tested the ability of this wasp to develop in different species of Lepidoptera – ~50 pest species of Noctuidae. As one facet of this work, Vince recently published a paper that reports use of the artificial diet to rear diverse taxa of Lepidoptera. The value of the paper is that it highlights use of an artificial diet that is easily-prepared and stored, which can be used to rear a broad variety of phytophagous insect species. As a second facet of this work, Vince modified the diet to obtain 7 different levels of protein
content. This was done to test the effect of diet quality on larval development of cabbage loopers, and on the suitability of the larvae as hosts for the parasitoid.
Vince is a very enthusiastic speaker during outreach events. He will parasitize caterpillars in advance and hold them at temperatures such that the parasitoid larvae ‘erupt’ from their host in front of the audience. He also has given numerous presentations on insects to schools and has been the main organizer of the annual ‘Insect Discovery Day’ at the local Bird of Prey Centre.