Gail Mick

Insect Production Technician
Natural Resources Canada

Current research and/or projects

Gail Mick began her career in a laboratory setting in 1974. Her first three years were in the medical field at the Plummer Memorial Hospital working in the Blood Bank under the direction of Dr. M. Scarff. In 1977, she joined the Insect Pathology Research Institute under the direction of Dr. J. Cunningham where she reared eastern and western spruce budworm, European gypsy moth and whitemarked tussock moth. Using these insects, she mass-produced baculoviruses for experimental aerial spray trials that generated data toward the registration of several pest control products. She joined the Great Lakes Forestry Centre (GLFC) insect production facility in 1995, where she prepares artificial diets and rears disease free insects and under the supervision of Mr. J. Dedes. Gail’s rearing experience includes both diapause and non-diapause strains of Choristoneura fumiferana (spruce budworm),Choristoneura pinus pinus (jack pine budworm) and Choristoneura occidentalis (western spruce budworm), Lymantria dispar (European gypsy moth), Lambdina fiscellaria fiscellaria(hemlock looper), Tricoplusia ni (cabbage looper), Malacosoma disstria (forest tent caterpillar), Bombyx mori (silkworm), Orgyia leucostigma (whitemarked tussock moth) and Dioryctria abietivorella (fir coneworm).

Gail has prepared synthetic diets, including McMorran, Bell and Addy, for all insect species reared in the insectary.

1n 1998, Gail attended Michigan State University in Lansing for an introductory course on the identification of microsporidia. In 2001, she attended the Mississippi State University workshop for Principles and Procedures for Rearing Quality Insects and employs her newly gained knowledge to the development of rearing and quality control protocols.

Gail has conducted several lab experiments for scientists within GLFC. Under the direction of Dr. G. Grant, she compared oviposition substrates for spruce budworm and developed a new lab colony of fir coneworm from field-stock. Then, for Dr. K. van Frankenhuyzen, Gail performed trials to determine proper levels of an antimicrobial agent (Fumigil B) for use in artificial insect diets.

Gail has been the acting-supervisor for the GLFC insectary and a participant of an internal advisory group overseeing Insect Production Services. She enjoys her work and anticipates new challenges in the future.

In 2009, Insect Production Services was presented with the Natural Resources Canada Departmental Achievement Award because of the team’s outstanding achievements in their specialized area.