Student Voices

Three Minute Thesis 2014: Bekka Brodie, Biology

April 24, 2014

SFU's annual Three Minute Thesis finals took place on March 10, 2014.

Bekka Brodie, originally from the USA, spoke on "Multi-modal Foraging and Communication in Blow Flies." She received the third place prize for her presentation.


Blow flies can quickly locate a dead animal carcass to lay eggs but they will also lay eggs on any meat, making them huge pests in slaughterhouses and meat packaging plants. In order to effectively manage blow fly pests, mechanisms like sight and sound that blow flies use to locate a carrion resource were identified. The chemical dimethyl trisulfide baited in black fly traps effectively captures mature female blow flies with eggs. This research is leading the way for an environmentally friendly trapping system that can be commercialized for both industrial and residential use.

Bekka Brodie started studying blow flies in January 2011 as her PhD thesis topic.

Bekka’s PhD dissertation is divided up into 3 main pillars: (1) food foraging, (2) rapid location of oviposition resources, and (3) intraspecific communication. The research is supported by a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) - Industrial Research Chair to G.G., with Contech Enterprises Inc. and Global Forest Science as industrial sponsors. Bekka has 3 out of the 5 chapters of her dissertation submitted for publication and currently under review. 

Bekka is set to defend her thesis in the spring of 2015. In the future, she hopes to continue work in entomology and chemical ecology. In addition to being a scientist, Bekka is also a mother, teacher, and naturalist, and she blogs about it all



* BBrodie_2014 CV.pdf
Bekka Brodie's CV
* Science Schemes Volume 9 Issue 7.pdf
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