Dr. Brian Van Hezewijk

Research Scientist

Research in the ecology of native and invasive forest insects.

Natural Resources Canada

Current research and/or projects

Biography:

I have always been amazed by the sudden abundance of caterpillars in the forest when there seemed to be so few the previous year. Learning about population cycles only led to more questions, to which I learned no one had really good answers.  Why do they cycle?  Why do some species cycle and not others?  Why do tent caterpillars return every nine years and spruce budworm every 35?  For most of my scientific career I have tried to discover the factors that govern populations of insects so as to better understand their impacts and importance to ecosystems.  

Research and/or project statements

Current Research Projects: 

  • How do generalist predators keep forest insect populations low?
  • Which traits make some alien insect species so invasive?
  • How can we better manage the risk of accidentally introducing Asian gypsy moth to Canada?

Professional activities / interests

  • Give professional advice.
  • Communication with the medias and public.
  • Speaker at many conferences.

Education and awards

Degrees:

B.Sc. in Biology, University of Warteloo, 1993.

M.Sc. in Forestry, University of Toronto, 1995.

Ph.D. in Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, 2002.

Awards:

Nominated for Governor General’s Gold Medal for Ph.D. dissertation, 2002.

University of Alberta Dissertation Fellowship, 2002.

First place in the President's Prize for paper presented at the Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting, 2000.

Second place in the President's Prize for paper presented at the Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting, 1998.

University of Alberta Ph.D. Recruitment Scholarship, 1997.

Key publications

  1. Bourchier, R.S.; Van Hezewijk, B.H. 2013. Chapter 44: Centaurea diffusa Lamarck Diffuse Knapweed and Centaurea stoebe subsp. micranthos (S.G. Gmel. ex Gugler) Hayek [=Centaurea maculosa Lamarck], Spotted Knapweed (Asteraceae). In: Mason, P.G., Gillespie, D. (eds). Biological Control Programmes in Canada 2001-2012. CABI Publishing, Wallingford, Oxon, UK.
  2. Bourchier, R.S.; Van Hezewijk, B.H. 2013. Chapter 47: Euphorbia esula (L.) (Leafy Spurge) Euphorbiaceae. In: Mason, P.G., Gillespie, D. (eds). Biological Control Programmes in Canada 2001-2012. CABI Publishing, Wallingford, Oxon, UK.
  3. VanHezewijk B.; Bourchier, R. 2012. Impact of Cyphocleonus achates on diffuse knapweed and its interaction with Larinus minutus. Biological Control 62: 113-119.
  4. Bourchier, R.S.; Van Hezewijk, B.H. 2010. Distribution and Potential Spread of Japanese Knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum) in Canada Relative to Climatic Thresholds. Invasive Plant Science and Management 3: 32-39.
  5. VanHezewijk B.; Bourchier, R.; De Clerck-Floate, R.A. 2010. Regional-scale impacts of the weed biocontrol agent, Mecinus janthinus on Dalmatian toadflax (Linaria dalmatica). Biological Control 55: 197-202.