Slessor wins career award

May 15, 2003, vol. 27, no. 2

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Simon Fraser University chemist Keith Slessor's dedication to decoding how bees communicate and developing groundbreaking compounds based on that knowledge have led to him being awarded a 2003 career achievement award.

The award is one of two bestowed annually by the Confederation of University Faculty Associations of B.C. (CUFA/BC) for exceptional research that contributes to the wider community.

The career achievement award recognizes on-going accomplishments in a researcher's career that impact the non-academic community.

Slessor (left) elucidated the chemicals, called pheromones, that bees and other insects use to communicate.

That led him and other SFU researchers to develop synthetic insect pheromones, which are used in products that enhance or confuse insect communication.

These products have become crucial, environmentally friendly ways of controlling insects, particularly in forests, and enhancing crop production.

Known for his collaboration with scientists across many fields, Slessor is dedicated to popularizing science among non-academics.

A 300 -level course at SFU, which he teaches, aims to foster an appreciation of the importance of science in society among non-scientists.

He is also working with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to promote research projects that cross the boundaries of traditional academic disciplines.

Slessor accepted his CUFA/BC award ($1,000 cheque and specially commissioned momento) at the organization's distinguished academics awards annual dinner on April 23.

Two years ago, another SFU researcher, Mark Winston, a bee expert with whom Slessor frequently collaborates, won the CUFA/BC's academic of the year award.

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