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Pine beetle researcher wins national award


Prince George, BC – A professor at the University of Northern British Columbia, who is involved in research on the DNA of the mountain pine beetle, is being honoured by the Entomological Society of Canada for his efforts and activities in the field of entomology.

Dr Dezene Huber will be awarded the C Gordon Hewitt Award at the annual Entomological Society of Canada meeting in Vancouver at the end of this month.

“Dr Huber has already made significant contributions that have advanced entomology in Canada and in the global community,” says Dr Peter Mason, chair of the society’s Achievement Awards Committee. “We are happy to present Dr Huber with this award, based on his scientific contributions, commitment to teaching, outreach activities, and service to the Entomological Society.”

The C Gordon Hewitt Award is a peer-nominated honour presented each year by the Entomological Society of Canada to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to entomology in Canada before the age of 40.

“This is a great honour and I would like to thank my many mentors and colleagues who have been vital to the progression of my career to this point,” says Dr Huber, who is also Canada Research Chair in Forest Entomology and Chemical Ecology. “It is encouraging to receive this distinction while researching issues that are so important to the people and environment of northern BC and to other parts of Canada and North America.”

Dr Huber’s research area includes DNA sequencing efforts to uncover the nature of the genes of the mountain pine beetle that are likely related to the insect’s ability to withstand extreme winter temperatures. “We’re now working on what turns specific genes on and off in the autumn and spring, with the hope of better understanding the climatic variables that impact insect overwintering success,” he says.