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Professor, SFU Biological Sciences
Dr. Jenny Cory, Associate Professor, MPM Director,
Thelma Finlayson Chair in Biological Control

Office: 778.782.5714 Room SSB8107 Contact Us

Research involves:

Combining experimental, molecular, and theoretical approaches in the investigation of the ecology and evolution of insect pathogens and parasites.

Research relevance:

The research is generating fundamental data on host-parasite interactions and supporting the development and risk assessment of environmentally sustainable methods of pest control.

Pathogen Diversity and Pest Control

Some pathogens that infect insects, such as baculoviruses, have the potential to be used as biological control agents for a range of pests of agricultural, horticultural, and forest crops. In order to design effective and environmentally sustainable control strategies, scientists need to have a thorough understanding of the ecology of pathogens and how they change over time.

Canada Research Chair Dr. Jennifer Cory studies the ecology of insect pathogens. By applying modern molecular techniques, she has been able to explore such issues as how pathogen virulence and population structure changes in response to host resistance and density, why pathogens are so diverse, and how pathogens survive when the host is absent. Her research has clarified how genetically diverse pathogens are maintained and why this process may be advantageous to the baculovirus. This research has produced insights that will be useful in terms of understanding infection diversity and host-pathogen dynamics and evolution in other disease systems.

As part of her research, Dr. Cory is carrying out a laboratory and field research program to estimate the risks of releasing genetically modified baculoviruses. Her risk assessment will provide a template for other studies worldwide, helping to lay the foundation for the safer development of biological insecticides. By applying molecular tools combined with ecological and evolutionary approaches, she is opening up new avenues for research in the study of insect pathogen ecology and helping to unravel key issues in the ecology and evolution of host-parasite relationships.