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Douglas College biologist gets federal dollars

A Douglas College biologist is getting a $30,000 federal grant to study how predatory insects can be used to prevent aphids from damaging blueberry crops.

Rob McGregor, director of the college’s Institute of Urban Ecology based at the New Westminster campus, got the funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

The six-month study will investigate the effectiveness of using two species of predatory insects instead of chemical pesticides to kill off problem aphids. The money will go toward two student research assistants who will raise insects, conduct experiments and conduct data.

“Our goal is to help the B.C. blueberry industry develop a sustainable approach to aphid control,” said McGregor in a press release. “Ultimately, this work could help improve the quality and safety of food products in B.C. by reducing the environmental impact of pesticides.”

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