Paul K. Abram, Ph.D.

Image Paul K. Abram
Research Scientist, Biological Control of Insect Pests

My research program is focused on the biology, behaviour, and ecology of beneficial insects (insect parasitoids) that help manage insect crop pests.  The main goals of my research are to develop, test, and implement theory and methods for: (i) measuring the biological control impact of parasitoids on invasive crop pests; and (ii) forecasting the potential for non-target ecological effects of introduced parasitoids on native Canadian fauna.

I also have a broad range of other research interests that focus on bridging the gap between fundamental ecological research and applied biological pest control.   These include projects on insect symbionts and viruses, different aspects of global change (artificial lighting, anthropogenic noise, temperature increases), and the ecological importance of within-species (intraspecific) trait variation in biological control agents. 

Current research and/or projects

  • Biological control of invasive agricultural insect pests (spotted wing Drosophila, brown marmorated stink bug) with parasitoid wasps.
  • Ecological risks and benefits of accidentally introduced parasitoid wasps that attack invasive crop pests.
  • Ecological effects of disruptive vibrations and daylength extensions with artificial lighting on pest/natural enemy associations in vegetable greenhouses.
  • Interactions between viruses and microbial symbionts of the invasive spotted wing Drosophila.
  • Parasitoid wasps attacking pest and non-pest leafhoppers in vineyard and adjacent natural habitats.
  • Tolerance and resistance of newly developed blueberry and raspberry selections to various insect pests.

Research and/or project statements

Additional key publications:

For full publication list, see Google Scholar page.

P.K. Abram, A.E. McPherson, R. Kula, T. Hueppelsheuser, J. Thiessen, S.J. Perlman, C.I. Curtis, J.L. Fraser, J. Tam, J. Carillo, M. Gates, S. Scheffer, M. Lewis, and M. Buffington (2020). New records of LeptopilinaGanaspis, and Asobara species associated with Drosophila suzukii in North America, including detections of L. japonica and G. brasiliensisJournal of Hymenoptera Research 78:1-17. doi: 10.3897/jhr.78.55026

P.K. Abram, R.M. Labbe, and P.G. Mason (2020). Ranking the host range of biological control agents with quantitative metrics of taxonomic specificity. Biological Control 152: 104427. doi: 10.1016/j.biocontrol.2020.104427

P.K. Abram, N. Mills, and E. Beers (2020). Classical biological control of invasive stink bugs with egg parasitoids: what does success look like? Pest Management Science 76: 1980-1992. doi: 10.1002/ps.5813  

P.K. Abram, E.J. Talamas, S. Acheampong, P.G. Mason, and T.D. Gariepy (2019). First detection of the samurai wasp, Trissolcus japonicus (Ashmead) (Hymenoptera: Scelionidae) in Canada. Journal of Hymenoptera Research 68: 29–36. doi:10.3897/jhr.68.32203 

P.K. Abram, J. Brodeur, A. Urbaneja, and A. Tena (2019). Non-reproductive effects of insect parasitoids on their hosts. Annual Review of Entomology 64:259-276. doi: 10.1146/annurev-ento-011118-111753 

P.K. Abram and C.E. Moffat (2018). Rethinking biological control programs as planned invasions. Current Opinion in Insect Science 27:9-15. doi: 10.1016/j.cois.2018.01.011  

P.K. Abram, K.A. Hoelmer, A. L. et al. [+47 Authors] (2017). Indigenous arthropod natural enemies of the brown marmorated stink bug in North America and Europe. Journal of Pest Science 90:1009-1020. doi: 10.1007/s10340-017-0891-7   

P.K. Abram, G. Boivin, J. Moiroux, and J. Brodeur (2017). Behavioural effects of temperature on ectothermic animals: unifying thermal physiology and behavioural plasticity. Biological Reviews 92: 1859-1876. 

Education and awards

  • Ph.D., Biological Sciences, Université de Montréal (2016)
  • MSc, Biology, Carleton University (2012)
  • BSc (Honours), Biology, Queen's University (2009)

Key publications

  1. P. K. Abram (2024). Keeping importation biological control as part of the invasive species management toolbox . Invasive Species Council of BC Annual Meeting (INVASIVES 2024), New Westminster, BC, February 28, 2024 (oral presentation).

    2024 - View publication details

  2. P.K. Abram, M. Franklin, T. Hueppelsheuser, and J. Carrillo (2024). Update on parasitic wasps attacking spotted wing Drosophila larvae in BC. BC Berries Research Review, February 23, 2024 (virtual oral extension presentation).

    2024 - View publication details

  3. T. Hueppelsheuser and P.K. Abram (2024). Emerging pests and biocontrol agents in light of climate change. Centre for Organizational Governance in Agriculture, BC Council of Marketing Boards. February 15, 2024 (invited virtual oral extension presentation).

    2024 - View publication details

  4. P.K. Abram (2023). Biological control as a key component of sustainable pest management systems: successes and complexity. University of British Columbia, Insects in Agroecosystems course, February 13, 2024 (invited course lecture).

    2024 - View publication details

  5. P.K. Abram and T. Hueppelsheuser (2024). Stink bugs in the greenhouse. Pacific Agriculture Show, LMHIA Grower’s Short Course, Abbotsford, BC, January 26, 2024 (oral presentation).

    2024 - View publication details

  6. P.K. Abram, J. Thiessen and V. Makovetski (2023). Update on Istocheta aldrichi research in Agassiz. 1st Japanese Beetle Biological Control Working Group Meeting, December 6, 2023 (virtual oral presentation).

    2023 - View publication details

  7. V. Makovetski, J. Thiessen and P.K. Abram (2023). Research releases of a specialized parasitoid fly against Japanese Beetle in British Columbia. Japanese Beetle Response in BC Wrap-up Meeting, Burnaby, BC, December 1, 2023 (oral presentation).

    2023 - View publication details

  8. J.L. Fraser*, M. Canovas, J.-F. Cormier, T. Galstian, P.K. Abram and M. Dorais (2023). Lumière sur les ennemis naturels: synthèse sur l’usage optimal des DELs afin de promouvoir parasitoïdes, prédateurs et performances végétales. Greenhouse Horticulture Growers Conference, Quebec Reference Center for Agriculture and Agri-food (CRAAQ), November 14, 2023 (poster).

    2023 - View publication details

  9. M. Canovas*, J-F. Cormier, T. Galstian, P.K. Abram and M. Dorais (2023). Choosing light for a perfect date? Light spectra have different impacts on mating and developmental performances of the generalist beneficial Orius insidiosus (Say). Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America, National Harbor, USA, November, 2023 (virtual oral presentation).

    2023 - View publication details

  10. J. Carrillo* and P.K. Abram. (2023). Journal of Economic Entomology reader’s choice winner: A coordinated sampling and identification methodology for larval parasitoids of spotted-wing drosophila. Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting, National Harbor, MD, USA, November 5-8, 2023 (oral presentation).

    2023 - View publication details

  11. V. Makovetski, J. Thiessen and P.K. Abram (2023). Testing the potential of biological control as part of a multi-tactic eradication strategy for Japanese Beetle in BC. Western Forum on Pest Management, Kelowna, BC, October 25-27, 2023 (oral presentation).

    2023 - View publication details

  12. M. Canovas*, J-F. Cormier, T. Galstian, P.K. Abram and M. Dorais (2023). Shedding light on predators! Choosing the right spectra promotes Orius insidiosus performance, from predation to mating and development. Canadian Greenhouse Conference, Niagara Falls, ON, October 23 (virtual oral presentation).

    2023 - View publication details

  13. A. Vossen*, P.K. Abram, J. Brodeur and A. Firlej (2023). Démystifier l’induction de la diapause des populations adventices de parasitoïdes de la drosophile à ailes tachetées en Colombie Britannique. 150e Réunion Annuelle Société d’Entomologie du Québec, Montreal, QC, October 19-20, 2023 (oral presentation).

    2023 - View publication details

  14. M. Canovas*, J-F. Cormier, T. Galstian, P.K. Abram and M. Dorais (2023). De l’assiette au flirt: quelle est l’ambiance lumineuse parfaite pour une ‘’première date’’ lorsque l’on est un insecte? Le spectre lumineux influence les performances de prédation, de reproduction et de développement de l’ennemi naturel Orius insidiosus (Say). Conférence à l’Institut National d’Optique, Québec, QC, October 17-18, 2023 (oral presentation).

    2023 - View publication details

  15. P. K. Abram* and P.G. Mason (2023). Benefits and risks of biological control in North America. International Organization for Biological Control-WPRS/IOBC Global working group meeting, Averio, Portugal, September 11-15, 2023 (invited oral presentation).

    2023 - View publication details

  16. Boisclair-Joly, S., Fernandez-Triana, J.L., Abram, P.K., & M.T. Franklin. Canadian agricultural pests and their natural enemies: first steps in compiling a compendium of VIPs (Very Important Parasitoids). Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of British Columbia. Sept 15-16, 2023.

    2023 - View publication details

  17. P.K. Abram* (2023). Accidentally introduced insect natural enemies and the practice of biological control. British Columbia Institute of Agrologists-AAFC-BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food Lunch ‘n Learn Seminar Series, March 8, 2023 (invited virtual oral presentation).

    2023 - View publication details

  18. P.K. Abram*, C. Capkob, J. Frasera, J. Thiessen, L. Harachb and M.T. Franklin (2023). Update on Drosophila suzukii biological control surveys in British Columbia, Canada. 3rd meeting of the North American Spotted Wing Drosophila Biological Control Working Group, April 27, 2023 (virtual oral presentation).

    2023 - View publication details

  19. K.R. Hopper*, X. Wang, M. Kenis, L. Seehausen, P.K. Abram, K.M. Daane, M.L. Buffington and K.A. Hoelmer (2023). Genome divergence and reproductive incompatibility among populations of Ganaspis near brasiliensis. 3rd meeting of the North American Spotted Wing Drosophila Biological Control Working Group, April 27, 2023 (virtual oral presentation).

    2023 - View publication details

  20. J.M. Stahl*, X. Wang, P.K. Abram, A. Biondi, M.L. Buffington, K.A. Hoelmer, M. Kenis, F. Lisi, M.V. Rossi-Stacconi, M.L. Seehausen, A. Vossen, W. Wong and K.M. Daane (2023). Profiling Ganaspis brasiliensis G1 – a review. 3rd meeting of the North American Spotted Wing Drosophila Biological Control Working Group, April 27, 2023 (virtual oral presentation).

    2023 - View publication details

Research facility

6947 Highway 7
PO Box 1000
Agassiz, BC V0M 1A2
Canada

Affiliations

  • Adjunct Professor, University of British Columbia, Faculty of Land and Food Systems
  • Adjunct Professor, University of Victoria, Department of Biology
  • Adjunct Professor, Université Laval, Département de Phytologie

Language

English
French