Bourchier, Rob, Ph.D.

Research Scientist -Insect Ecology and Biological Control

Contact Information:

5403 - 1 Avenue South
PO Box 3000
Lethbridge, Alberta T1J 4B1
Telephone: 403-317-2298
Fax: 403-382-3156
Email: robert.bourchier@agr.gc.ca

Areas of Expertise:

  • Biological control of weeds and insects using beneficial arthropods
  • Ecology of invasive species
  • Risk assessment and impact of biological control agents
  • Host-plant insect interactions and applications to development of biological control strategies

Current Projects:

  • Discover, develop and implement arthropod agents for biological control of arthropod pests and weeds.
  • Operational implementation of weed biocontrol to reduce risks from herbicides

Affiliations:

  • Adjunct Professor Dept of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta
  • Adjunct Professor Faculty of Forestry University of Toronto
  • Member of School Graduate Studies University of Lethbridge

Research publications

2016

2014

2013

  • Bourchier, R.S. and Van Hezewijk, B.H. (2013). "Centaurea diffusa Lamarck Diffuse Knapweed and Centaurea stoebe subsp. micranthos (S.G. Gmel. ex Gugler) Hayek [=Centaurea maculosa Lamarck], Spotted Knapweed (Asteraceae).", in Mason, P.G. and Gillespie, D.R. (eds.) - Biological Control Programmes in Canada 2001-2012, CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK, pp. 302-307.
  • Bourchier, R.S. and Van Hezewijk, B.H. (2013). "Euphorbia esula (L.) (Leafy Spurge) Euphorbiaceae.", in Mason, P.G. and Gillespie, D.R. (eds.) - Biological Control Programmes in Canada 2001-2012, CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK, pp. 315-320.
  • Bourchier, R.S., Grevstad, F., and Shaw, R. (2013). "Fallopia japonica (Houtt.) Ronse Decraene, Japanese Knotweed; Fallopia sachalinensis (F. Schmidt) Ronse Decraene, Giant Knotweed; Fallopia x bohemica (Chrtek & Chrtková) J. P. Bailey, Bohemian Knotweed (Polygonaceae).", in Mason, P.G. and Gillespie, D.R. (eds.) - Biological Control Programmes in Canada 2001-2012, CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK, pp. 321-328.
  • Bourchier, R.S., Weed, A., Casagrande, R., Gassmann, A., Smith, S., and Cappuccino, N. (2013). "Vincetoxicum nigrum (L.) Moench, V. rossicum (Kleopow) Barbar., swallow-worts, dog strangling vine (Apocynaceae).", in Mason, P.G. and Gillespie, D.R. (eds.) - Biological Control Programmes in Canada 2001-2012, CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK, pp. 402-407.
  • Grevstad, F., Shaw, R., Bourchier, R.S., Sanguankeo, P., Cortat, G., and Reardon, R.C. (2013). "Efficacy and host specificity compared between two populations of the psyllid Aphalara itadori, candidates for biological control of invasive knotweeds in North America.", Biological Control, 65(1), pp. 53-62. doi : 10.1016/j.biocontrol.2013.01.001
  • Hinz, H.L., Bourchier, R.S., and Schwarzländer, M. (2013). "Lepidium draba L., L. chalepense L., L. appelianum Al-Shehbaz, Hoary Cresses (Brassicaceae)", in Mason, P.G. and Gillespie, D.R. (eds.) - Biological Control Programmes in Canada 2001-2012, CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK, pp. 332-337.
  • de Morais, E.G.F., Picanço, M.C., Lopes-Mattos, K.L.B., Bourchier, R.S., Meira, R.M.S.A., and Barreto, R.W. (2013). "Diclidophlebia smithi (Hemiptera: Psyllidae), a potential biocontrol agent for Miconia calvescens in the Pacific: Population dynamics, climate-match, host-specificity, host-damage and natural enemies.", Biological Control, 66(1), pp. 33-40. doi : 10.1016/j.biocontrol.2013.03.008

2012

2011

2010

2009

Other science related publications

2015

  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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)

2014

  • Bourchier, R.S., Coghlin, P.C., Dunlop, B., Ostrander, D., LeSage, L., and Floate, K.D. (2014). "Assessment of the diversity of Aphthona beetles for the biological control of leafy spurge on the prairies.", 2014 Joint Annual Meeting of Entomological Society of Saskatchewan and Entomological Society of Canada, Saskatoon SK, Canada, September 28-October 1, 2014. (Poster)
  • Bourchier, R.S., Coghlin, P.C., Dunlop, B., Ostrander, D., LeSage, L., and Floate, K.D. (2014). "Assessment of the diversity of Aphthona beetles for the 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)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • Gaskin, J.F., Schwarzländer, M., Grevstad, F., Haverhals, M.A., Bourchier, R.S., and Miller, T.W. (2014). "Extreme differences in population structure and genetic diversity for three invasive congeners: knotweeds in western North America.", Terrestrial Invasive Plant Species Conference II, Mississauga, ON, Canada, August 6-8, 2014. (Abstract)
  • Schaffner, U., Hinz, H.L., and Bourchier, R.S. (2014). "Misconceptions about classical biological control of weeds.", Terrestrial Invasive Plant Species Conference II, Mississauga, ON, Canada, August 6-8, 2014. (Abstract)
  • Tanner, R., Bourchier, R.S., and Ellison, C.A. (2014). "The potential for the biological control of Himalayan balsam using the rust pathogen Puccinia cf. komarovii: opportunities for Europe and North America.", Northern Rockies Invasive Plant Council Meeting, Spokane, Washington, USA, February 10-13, 2014. (Abstract)

2013

  • Bourchier, R.S. and Smith, S.M. (2013). "Targeting New and Old Worts: Biological Control of Invasive Plants in Ontario.", Ontario Invasive Plant Council Annual Conference, Orillia, Ontario, Canada. (Presentation)
  • Courtney, M., Bourchier, R.S., and Jamaat, A. (2013). "The influence of canopy cover and knotweed stem density on growth and functional traits of invasive knotweeds (Fallopia sp.)", Canadian Society for Evolution and Ecology Kelowna, May, 2013, pp. 9. (Poster)
  • Dejonge, R., Bourchier, R.S., and Smith, S.M. (2013). "Chrysochus auratus and C. cobaltinus: native candidate s for biological control of Dog strangling vine (Vincetoxicum rossicum)?", Entomological Society of Canada Meeting, Guelph, ON, Canada, October 2013.
  • Kloppenburg, C., Smith, A.M., Staenz, K., Bourchier, R.S., and Coburn, C.A. (2013). "Detecting Leafy Spurge in Native Grassland Using Hyperspectral Image Analysis.", 34th Canadian Symposium on Remote Sensing, Victoria, BC, Canada, August 27-30, 2013.
  • Oseen, I., Smith, A.M., Kloppenburg, C., Larson, G.L., and Bourchier, R.S. (2013). "Mapping the invasive weed species leafy spurge: the influence of image spatial and spectral resolution.", 34th Canadian Symposium on Remote Sensing, Victoria, BC, Canada, August 27-30, 2013.

2012

  • Bourchier, R.S., Floate, K.D., and LeSage, L. (2012). "Assessment of the diversity of biocontrol agents at historic leafy spurge release sites in Southern Alberta.", Entomological Society of Canada 62nd and Entomological Society of Alberta 60th joint Annual Meeting, Coast Edmonton Plaza Hotel, Edmonton, AB, Canada, November 4-7, 2012, #18. (Abstract)
  • Bourchier, R.S., Floate, K.D., and Mason, P.G. (2012). "Biocontrol Data: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.", National Invasive Species Forum, Delta Ottawa Hotel & Suites, Ottawa, ON, Canada, February 28-March 1, 2012. (Presentation)
  • Bourchier, R.S., Mason, P.G., and Floate, K.D. (2012). "Agriculture Information and IAS Management National Invasive Species Forum.", National Invasive Species Forum, Delta Ottawa Hotel & Suites, Ottawa, ON, Canada, February 28-March 1, 2012. (Presentation)
  • Bourchier, R.S., Mason, P.G., and Floate, K.D. (2012). "Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Invasive Species.", National Invasive Species Forum, Delta Ottawa Hotel & Suites, Ottawa, ON, Canada, February 28-March 1, 2012. (Presentation)
  • Bourchier, R.S., Weed, A., Hazelhurst, A., Tewksbury, L., Gassmann, A., Smith, S.M., and Casagrande, R. (2012). "Proposed release of Hypena opulenta: A potential biocontrol agent for dog-strangling vine.", Terrestrial Invasive Plant Species Conference: Understanding Plant Invasions in a Changing World, Sault Ste. Marie, ON, Canada, August 20-22, 2012, pp. 41.
  • De Clerck-Floate, R.A. and Bourchier, R.S. (2012). "Classical weed biocontrol in Canada: How do new agents against emerging invasive plants happen?", Terrestrial Invasive Plant Species Conference: Understanding Plant Invasions in a Changing World, Sault Ste. Marie, ON, Canada, August 20-22, 2012, pp. 40. (Abstract)
  • Dejonge, R., Bourchier, R.S., and Smith, S.M. (2012). "Will Native Dogbane Beetles (Chrysochus auratus) Adapt to Dog-Strangling Vine (Vincetoxicum spp.)?", Terrestrial Invasive Plant Species Conference: Understanding Plant Invasions in a Changing World, Sault Ste. Marie, ON, Canada, August 20-22, 2012, pp. 43.
  • Grevstad, F., Bourchier, R.S., Shaw, R., Sanguankeo, P., Cortat, G., and Reardon, R. (2012). "A Petition for Field Release of Aphalara itadori into North America for Biological Control of Invasive Knotweeds. Submitted to Canadian Biological Control Review Committee and USDA-APHIS Technical Advisory Group for Biological Control of Weeds.", 51 pages.
  • Tiberg, K., Blair, L.H., Bourchier, R.S., and Wilson, R. (2012). "Biological Control of Invasive Plants.", Central Alberta Weed School, Calgary, AB, June 7, 2012. (Presentation)
  • Tiberg, K., Blair, L.H., Bourchier, R.S., and Wilson, R. (2012). "Biological Control of Invasive Plants.", Southern Weed School, Medicine Hat, AB, Canada, 13 June, 2012. (Presentation)
  • Van Hezewijk, B.H., Bourchier, R.S., and Wilson, R. (2012). "Biological Control activities in Southern Alberta 2011.", Association of Alberta Agriculture Fieldmen, March 2012. (Presentation)
  • Van Hezewijk, B.H., Bourchier, R.S., and Wilson, R. (2012). Biological Control activities in Southern Alberta 2011. (Report)

2011

  • Bourchier, R.S. (2011). "Biological Control of Invasive Plants.", Alberta Weed School, Calgary, AB, Canada, June 2011. (Presentation)
  • Bourchier, R.S. (2011). "Chasing after the world’s largest female on both sides of the border, Polygonum cuspidatum/Fallopia japonica.", 96th Ecological Society of America (ESA) Annual Meeting, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX, USA, August 7-12, 2011. (Presentation)
  • Bourchier, R.S. and Van Hezewijk, B.H. (2011). "Knotweeds and Biocontrol under Current and Future Climate – Send in the Clones Responding to Invasive Species.", 2nd Research Forum - BC Invasive Plant Council, Richmond, BC, Canada, October 18-19, 2011, pp. 38.
  • Bourchier, R.S. and Van Hezewijk, B.H. (2011). "Modeling current and future climate to predict the spread of invasive knotweeds and its biocontrol agent in western North America.", 13th International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds, Kona, HI, USA, September 11-16, 2011.
  • Gassmann, A., Weed, A., Tewksbury, L., Leroux, A., Smith, S.M., Dejonge, R., and Bourchier, R.S. (2011). "Evaluating the potential for biological control of swallow-worts (Vincetoxicum nigrum and V .rossicum) in eastern North America.", 13th International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds, Kona, HI, USA, September 11-16, 2011. (Poster)
  • Hinz, H.L., Gassmann, A., Bourchier, R.S., and Schwarzländer, M. (2011). "Successes we might never have had: a retrospective comparison of predicted versus realized host range of established weed biological control agents in North America.", 13th International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds, Kona, HI, USA, September 11-16, 2011.
  • Kloppenburg, C., Smith, A.M., Staenz, K., Bourchier, R.S., and Van Hezewijk, B.H. (2011). "Detecting leafy spurge (Euphoria esula L.)in native grassland using hyperspectral image analysis.", 32nd Canadian Symposium on Remote Sensing/14e Congrès de l’assosciation quebecoise de télédétection, Bishops University, Lennoxville, QC, Canada, June 13-16, 2011.
  • Van Hezewijk, B.H. and Bourchier, R.S. (2011). "Hares or Tortoises? How to choose an optimally dispersing biological control agent.", 13th International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds, Kona, HI, USA, September 11-16, 2011.
  • Van Hezewijk, B.H., Bourchier, R.S., and Wilson, R. (2011). "Biological Control activities in Southern Alberta 2010.", Association of Alberta Agricultural Fieldmen, March 2011. (Presentation)

2009

  • Bourchier, R.S. and Van Hezewijk, B.H. (2009). "Detecting leafy spurge beetles with more than a digital camera.", GRIP Cooperators Meeting, Lethbridge, AB, Canada, February 22-23, 2009. (Presentation)
  • Bourchier, R.S., Van Hezewijk, B.H., Shaw, R., and Tanner, R. (2009). "Chasing after the worlds largest female: potantial establishment range of the psyllid, Aphalara itadori, for biological control of invasive knotweeds in Canada and the United Kingdom.", Entomological Society of Canada 59th and Manitoba Entomological Society Joint Annual Meeting, Winnipeg, MB, Canada, October 18-21, 2009.
  • Cass, L. and Bourchier, R.S. (2009). "Managing leafy spurge with a hungry beetle!", published by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)/Agriculture et Agroalimentaire Canada (AAC), Pesticide Risk Reduction Program/Programme de réduction des risques liés aux pesticides, pp. 1-3. (Technology transfer)
  • De Clerck-Floate, R.A., Bourchier, R.S., and Van Hezewijk, B.H. (2009). "What’s happening up north on weed biocontrol research?", Interagency Biological Control Meeting, Billings, MT, USA, November 16-17, 2009. (Presentation)
  • Van Hezewijk, B.H. and Bourchier, R.S. (2009). "Are two heads better than one? The interaction between a root galler and seed-head feeder in the biological control of diffuse knapweed.", Entomological Society of Canada 59th and Manitoba Entomological Society Joint Annual Meeting, Winnipeg, MB, Canada, October 18-21, 2009.
  • Van Hezewijk, B.H. and Bourchier, R.S. (2009). "Biocontrol Agents for Southern Alberta Weed Legislation and Identification Workshop.", Land Certification Class, Delacour, AB, Canada, June 3, 2009. (Presentation)
  • Van Hezewijk, B.H. and Bourchier, R.S. (2009). "Halos Ripples and Ghosts of Dispersal past.", Entomological Society of Alberta 57th Annual Meeting, Lakeland College, Vermilion, AB, Canada, November 5-7, 2009.
  • Van Hezewijk, B.H. and Bourchier, R.S. (2009). "The Theory and practice of Weed Biocontrol.", Alberta Invasive Plant Council Annual Meeting, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, April 29, 2009. (Presentation)
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