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. Franklin, M.T., Abram, P.K., and J. Thiessen. 2021. Determining potential resistance and susceptibility of raspberry and blueberry breeding selections to key arthropod pests. BC Berries Research Review, Virtual Meeting (oral presentation). Feb 26, 2021.

    2021 - View publication details

  2. Moffat, C.E., Abram, P.K., and Ensign, D. (in press) An evolutionary ecology synthesis for biological control. In: Biological control: a global endeavor (P.G. Mason, ed.). CSIRO press.

    2021 - View publication details

  3. Franklin, M.T. Abram, P.K. and T. Hueppelsheuser. 2021. Strawberry blossom weevil: a new pest of strawberries and raspberries. Lower Mainland Horticultural Improvement Association Horticultural Growers’ Short Course Virtual Meeting, Jan 28-30, 2021.

    2021 - View publication details

  4. Franklin, M.T., Abram, P.K., and T. Hueppelsheuser. 2021. Establishment of strawberry blossom weevil, Anthonomus rubi in Canada: a new pest of berries. Pest Management Centre Insect Pests of Berries Strategy Virtual Wrap-up Meeting. Jan 26, 2021.

    2021 - View publication details

  5. P.K. Abram, T. Hueppelsheuser, M.F. Franklin, C.E. Moffat, M. Robertson, T. Nelson, S. Acheampong, J. Carrillo, M. Buffington (2021). Two specialized natural enemies of spotted wing Drosophila are now present in British Columbia. Pest Management Centre Insect Pests of Berries Strategy Virtual Wrap-up Meeting, January 26, 2021.

    2021 - View publication details

  6. MacDonald J, Cooey L, Telford G, Abrams P, Alton G, Dudzic J, Ellis T, Girod P, Hueppelsheuser T, McFarlene J, Moffat C, Pogoda M, Thistlewood H. 2021. "Spotted Wing Drosophila: A Regional Research Users’ Meeting." Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Summerland, BC. 13 pp.

    2021 - View publication details

  7. P.K. Abram, T. Hueppelsheuser, M.F. Franklin, C.E. Moffat, M. Robertson, T. Nelson, S. Acheampong, J. Carrillo, M. Buffington (2021). Two specialized natural enemies from the Asian home range of spotted wing Drosophila are now present in the Pacific Northwest. Spotted Wing Drosophila Virtual Regional Research Users’ Meeting, Summerland, BC, January 19, 2021.

    2021 - View publication details

  8. J. Sherwood, P.K. Abram (2020). Preliminary evidence for enemy risk effects on SWD from Leptopilina japonica. North American Spotted Wing Drosophila Biological Control Working Group Virtual Meeting, December 9-10, 2020.

    2020 - View publication details

  9. P.K. Abram, M.F. Franklin, T. Hueppelsheuser (2020). Report on 2020 surveys for Leptopilina japonica and Ganaspis brasiliensis in crop and non-crop habitats in BC. North American Spotted Wing Drosophila Biological Control Working Group Virtual Meeting, December 9-10, 2020.

    2020 - View publication details

  10. J. Carrillo, M. Tsuruda, P. Girod, M. Clausen, S. Larter, P.K. Abram (2020). Surveys for SWD parasitoids in Coastal BC, Canada in 2020. North American Spotted Wing Drosophila Biological Control Working Group Virtual Meeting, December 9-10, 2020.

    2020 - View publication details

  11. T. Hueppelsheuser, M.F. Franklin, P.K. Abram (2020). Lessons learned in 2020 on rearing Asian parasitoids of SWD from field-collected fruit samples. North American Spotted Wing Drosophila Biological Control Working Group Virtual Meeting, December 9-10, 2020.

    2020 - View publication details

  12. Chia-Hua Lue, Matthew Buffington, Sonja Scheffer, Matthew Lewis, Amy Driskell, Anna Jandova, Kimura Masahito, Yves Carton, Robert Kula, Todd Schlenke, Mariana Mateos, Shubha Govind, Julien Varaldi, Bregje Wertheim, Emilio Guerrieri, Massimo Giorgini, Xingeng Wang, Kim Hoelmer, Kent Daane, Paul Abram, Marylene Poirie, Frank Jiggins, Daniel W. Tracey, Jeremy S. Davis, Owen T. Lewis, Jeff Leips, Phillip P. A. Staniczenko, Jan Hrcek (2020). DROP: Molecular voucher database for identification of Drosophila parasitoids. North American Spotted Wing Drosophila Biological Control Working Group Virtual Meeting, December 9-10, 2020.

    2020 - View publication details

  13. P.K. Abram, T. Hueppelsheuser, M.F. Franklin, C.E. Moffat, M. Robertson, T. Nelson, S. Acheampong, J. Carrillo, M. Buffington (2021). Two specialized natural enemies of spotted wing Drosophila are now present in the Pacific Northwest. Lynden Virtual Small Fruit Conference, Lynden, WA, USA, December 1-4, 2020.

    2020 - View publication details

  14. Franklin, M.T., Abram, P.K. and T. Hueppelsheuser. 2020. First report of the strawberry blossom weevil in North America: a new threat to berry production. Washington Small Fruit Conference, Virtual Conference (oral presentation). Dec 1-4, 2020.

    2020 - View publication details

  15. M. Franklin, P.K. Abram, T. Hueppelsheuser (2020). Invasive species threats and management implications for berry production in British Columbia. Entomological Society of America Virtual Annual Meeting, November 6-19, 2020.

    2020 - View publication details

  16. P.K. Abram, M. Franklin, M. Buffington, C. Moffat, J. Carillo, B. Gerdeman, M. Robertson, T. Hueppelsheuser (2020). Parasitism of spotted-wing drosophila by adventive Asian larval parasitoids (Ganaspis brasiliensis, Leptopilina japonica) in northwestern North America: Identifying potential spatiotemporal refuges from parasitism. Entomological Society of America Virtual Annual Meeting, November 6-19, 2020.

    2020 - View publication details

  17. N.J. Mills, P.K. Abram, E.H. Beers (2020). Why is life cycle vulnerability key to the development of biological control programs for invasive stink bugs? Entomological Society of America Virtual Annual Meeting, November 6-19, 2020.

    2020 - View publication details

  18. Franklin, M.T.*, Abram, P.K., and T. Hueppelsheuser. 2020. Establishment of the strawberry blossom weevil in North America: a new threat to berry production. Entomological Society of America, Virtual Conference (oral presentation). Nov 11-25, 2020.

    2020 - View publication details

  19. A. McPherson, P.K. Abram, S. Perlman (2020). Prevalence of Wolbachia and RNA viruses in spotted Wing Drosophila. Entomological Society of British Columbia Virtual Annual Meeting, October 25-27, 2020.

    2020 - View publication details

  20. J. Sherwood, P.K. Abram, J. Zhang (2020). The perpetual scent of doom: Fear-avoidance behaviour from a natural enemy. Entomological Society of British Columbia Virtual Annual Meeting, October 25-27, 2020.

    2020 - 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