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Cameron Lait BSc. (University of Victoria), Ph.D (University of Alberta)
I completed my BSc in biology (major in physiology, minor in biochemistry and microbiology) at the University of Victoria (1992) and PhD (major plant biochemistry and physiology) at the University of Alberta (1998). Besides graduate thesis research, I also worked on separate projects that included finding the causes of ornamental tree mortality in urban landscapes and measuring the effects of oil sand mine tailing effluent on boreal forest trees used for reclamation projects in northern Alberta.
Upon graduation I was awarded a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Simon Fraser University (1997-2000), which involved collaboration with forest industry and government stake holders to determine the cause of excessive seed losses in British Columbia tree seed orchards.
In early 2001, I went to work as a scientist with Dr. James Tumlinson at the US Department of Agriculture in Florida and (later) Penn State University (2003-2008) where we conducted entomological and chemical ecology research related to plant-insect interactions and finding ways to exploit chemical defenses of plants as an environmentally safe alternative to pesticide use.
As a Research and Development Scientist with Pherotech International (2008-2010) I helped develop and field test semiochemical-based lures and traps for the control / monitoring of economically important forest and agricultural insect pests. I was the lead researcher on a laboratory and field research trial testing synthetic pheromones as a management tool to improve honey bee colony survival, vigour and productivity.
My post-graduate research findings are published in scientific journals that span multiple disciplines including natural resource sciences, plant health protection, forestry, agriculture, entomology, biochemistry and plant physiology.
Prior to joining KPU School of Horticulture, I was a multi-program inspector with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (BC Coastal Division – Plant Health) based at the Vancouver Harbour District Office (2011-2013). Main duties included import inspections of agricultural and horticultural commodities to verify compliance with the Plant Protection Act and Regulations and export inspections of commodities for phytosanitary certification. During spring and summer months I was involved with invasive alien insect trapping surveys and Asian gypsy moth inspection of marine vessels entering western Canada.