Rob Bourchier, Ph. D.

Research Scientist

Insect Ecology and Biological Control

Current research and/or projects

Characterization of invasive pests and exotic biological control agents  (Collaborator) 2019-2022

Assessing the range potential of Invasive Alien Species and associated herbivores under climate change with geospatial models of biological collections data  (Collaborator) 2018-2021

Enhancing Biological Control of Invasive Plants in British Columbia Biocontrol. CO-PI - 2018-2023.

Potential Insect Biological Control for Invasive Alien Plants in Ontario . CO-PI  2011-2020. 

Research and/or project statements

  • Host-plant insect interactions.

  • Population dynamics of biological control agents and their hosts.

  • Invasive species/biocontrol agents – impact, habitat and climate modelling

 

Professional activities / interests

  • Implementation of operational biocontrol for invasive plants in Canada.

  • Ecology and impact of established weed biocontrol agents

  • Development of new biological control agents for invasive plants in Canada

  • Student training

 

Education and awards

PhD, Biology/Ecology, University of Waterloo

MSc, Entomology, McGill University

BA,  Economics, Carleton University

C. Gordon Hewitt Award (2001), presented by the Entomological Society of Canada (ESC)

Federal Government 5-NR Science Award for Leaders in Sustainable Development with R. De Clerck-Floate for Weed Biocontrol Research 2001

International experience and/or work

Canadian lead for collaborative international projects developing new biological control agents for invasive plants, including knotweeds, phragmites, garlic mustard and swallowworts.

Key publications

  1. Ensing, DJ, R Bourchier, R De Clerck-Floate, V Miller, S Turner, C Moffat. 2021. 30 years of biological control of invasive spotted knapweed in British Columbia. ISCBC Invasive Species Research Conference, Virtual, 06-07 October 2021.

    2021 - View publication details

  2. Moffat, C.E., R.S. Bourchier, R.A. De Clerck-Floate, P.G. Mason, and D.J. Ensing. 2021. How do we know biocontrol agents are safe? An overview of the Canadian research and regulatory process for new biocontrol agents. British Columbia Invasive Species Council. Invasives 2021 Conference (virtual). 9 Februrary, 2021.

    2021 - View publication details

  3. Dickinson, R.B., Bourchier, R.S., Fulthorpe, R.R., Shen, S.Y., Jones, I.M., Smith, S.M. (2021). Fungal endophytes increase biomass production in pale swallow-wort (Vincetoxicum rossicum (kleopow) barbar.), 99(6), 337-353. http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjb-2020-0181

    2021 - View publication details

  4. Ensing, D.J., R. Bourchier, R. De Clerck-Floate, T.D. Nelson, V. Miller, S. Turner, C.E. Moffat. 2020. Classical biological control leads to long term declines in the rangeland invasive spotted knapweed. Entomological Society of America (virtual), 16-19 November, 2020.

    2020 - View publication details

  5. Ensing, D.J., T.D. Nelson, R. Bourchier, R. De Clerck-Floate, V. Miller, S. Turner, C.E. Moffat. 2020. Contemporary ecology of historical weed biological control programs: Re-evaluating spotted knapweed biocontrol in BC. Entomological Society of British Columbia (virtual), 26-28 October, 2020.

    2020 - View publication details

  6. 2020 Livingstone, SW, SM Smith, RS Bourchier, K Ryan, A Roberto and MW Cadotte.
    An experimental application of Hypena opulenta as a biocontrol agent for the invasive vine Vincetoxicum rossicum Ecological Solutions and Evidence 1:2 https://doi.org/10.1002/2688-8319.12022

    2020 - View publication details

  7. Fung, C., González-Moreno, P., Pratt, C., Oliver, T.H., Bourchier, R.S., González-Suárez, M. (2020). Effect of humidity and temperature on the performance of three strains of Aphalara itadori, a biocontrol agent for Japanese Knotweed, 146 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocontrol.2020.104269

    2020 - View publication details

  8. deJonge RB, RS Bourchier, and SM Smith. 2017. Initial Response by a Native Beetle, Chrysochus auratus (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), to a Novel Introduced Host-Plant, Vincetoxicum rossicum (Gentianales: Apocynaceae). Environmental Entomology, 46(3), 2017, 617–625
    doi: 10.1093/ee/nvx072

    2017 - View publication details

  9. Mason PG, De Clerck-Floate RA, Gallant B, Gillespie DR, Floate K, Bourchier R, Douglas H, Vincent C, Boivin G (2017) Guide for the Importation and Release of Arthropod Biological Control Agents in Canada. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada A42-122/2017E.

    2017 - View publication details

  10. Floate, K.D., P. Coghlin, B. Dunlop, D. Ostrander, L. Lesage and R. Bourchier. 2016. Assessment of the diversity of Aphthona flea beetles for biological control of leafy spurge on the prairies. XXV International Congress of Entomology. Orlando, FL, September 25-30. doi: 10.1603/ICE.2016.111113 [poster]

    2016 - View publication details

  11. Andersen, J.C., Bourchier, R.S., Grevstad, F., Van Driesche, R.G., and Mills, N.J. (2016). "Development and verification of SNP arrays to monitor hybridization between two host-associated strains of knotweed psyllid, Aphalara itadori.", Biological Control, 93, pp. 49-55. doi : 10.1016/j.biocontrol.2015.11.007

    2016 - View publication details

  12. Bourchier, R.S. (2015). "From sleeping thistles to strangled canines: urban myths and misconceptions about classical weed biocontrol.", Invited lecture at University of Lethbridge 4th year Seminar Course. (Presentation)

    2015 - View publication details

  13. Dejonge, R., Smith, S.M., and Bourchier, R.S. (2015). "The western cobalt beetle (Chrysochus cobaltinus): a potential native biocontrol agent for dog strangling vine (Vincetoxicum rossicum).", 2015 Entomological Society of Canada, Montréal, QC, Canada, November 8-11, 2015, Presentation.

    2015 - View publication details

  14. Smith, S.M. and Bourchier, R.S. (2015). "Biological Control of Invasive Plants in Ontario.", Invited Presentation Ontario Biodiversity Summit, Niagara Falls, ON, Canada, May 19-22, 2015. (Presentation)

    2015 - View publication details

  15. Bourchier, R.S. and Smith, S.M. (2015). "Biological Control of Phragmites.", Invited Presentation Ontario Invasive Plant Council Invasive Phragmites in Ontario and What Lies Ahead, Ottawa, Canada, April 29, 2015. (Presentation)

    2015 - View publication details

  16. Bourchier, R.S., Van Hezewijk, B.H., Grevstad, F., and Gaskin, J.F. (2015). "Release of the biological control agent, Aphalara itadori for knotweed in Canada and performance on knotweed genotypes.", 2015 Entomological Society of Canada, Montréal, QC, Canada, November 8-11, 2015.

    2015 - View publication details

  17. Bourchier, R.S. and Smith, S.M. (2015). "Biological Control of Dog Strangling Vine.", Invited presentation at York Region Forest Conservation Team Newmarket Ont., July 22, 2015. (Presentation)

    2015 - View publication details

  18. Bourchier, R.S., Hinz, H.L., and Schaffner, U. (2014). "Addressing urban myths about classical weed biocontrol.", Weeds Across Borders 2014, Ottawa, Canada, October 14-17, 2014. (Abstract)

    2014 - View publication details

  19. Bourchier, R.S., Weed, A., Tewksbury, L., Cappuccino, N., Smith, S.E., Gassmann, A., and Casagrande, R. (2014). "Release of Hypena opulenta for biological control of dog-strangling vine (Vincetoxicum) in North America.", Terrestrial Invasive Plant Species Conference II, Mississauga, ON, Canada, August 6-8, 2014. (Abstract)

    2014 - View publication details

  20. Bourchier, R.S., Coghlin, P.C., Dunlop, B., Ostrander, D., LeSage, L., and Floate, K.D. (2014). "Assessment of the diversity of Aphthona flea beetles for biological control of leafy spurge on the prairies.", 62nd Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of Alberta, Lethbridge, AB, Canada, October 16-18, 2014. (Poster)

    2014 - View publication details

Research facility

5403 1st Avenue South
Lethbridge, AB T1J 4B1
Canada

Affiliations

Adjunct Professor -  Forestry, Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design. University of Toronto

 

Language

English