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I am an Associate Professor in the Unit of
Biology at UBCO.

BSc (1979) - Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario
MSc (1983) - Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario
PhD (1991) - Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC


My teaching has covered a lot of ground over the years (Vascular Plants, Intro Biology, Invertebrate Biology, Intro Ecology, Animal Ecology, Entomology, Evolutionary Ecology, Behavioural Ecology). This year, I am teaching Population Biology and Entomology in the Fall and Evolution and Ecology in the winter (2014-2015).


My research interests include insect-plant interactions, behaviour, and life history strategies, with a leaning towards looking at population-level effects of same (1, 2, 3). I have worked on tephritid fly - host systems (these are the true fruit flies) quite a bit (4, 5, 6, 7) and dabbled in some other theoretical questions, most recently relating to effects of dormancy at the population level (8, 9).

Terellia ruficauda male and female in copula. This tephritid fly is a seed predator on Canada thistle.

At present, I am pursuing a few projects, mainly through student research. I also collaborate with Joe Shorthouse on various aspects of Cynipid gall biology. A couple of my former students, Jordan Bannerman and Jamie MacEwen have done undergraduate projects using these insect-plant associations. Jordan’s work (see Bannerman et al., below) has been published.

Diplolepis bicolor gall on Rosa woodsii on the UBCO campus. Diplolepis gall formers are extremely diverse and attack most parts of their wild rose hosts.

Another undergraduate project, completed by Cassidy Dahl, looked at movement patterns of mountain pine beetles from the forested outskirts through the City of Kelowna in British Columbia.

A Lindgren funnel trap set up in a Kelowna vineyard. These traps attract tree-infesting insects such as the mountain pine beetle by pheromone baits.

One project, completed by Morgan Hoffman, looked at kin-biased behaviour in
Nasonia longicornis, a Pteromalid parasitoid of Muscoid flies.
A female Nasonia wasp laying eggs in a host

Another student, Haley Catton (co-supervised with RoseMarie DeClerck-Floate) is looking at the effects of a weed biocontrol agent on non-target plants in Alberta. Her model organism is a small weevil with a taste for houndstongue.
Cynoglossum officinale (houndstongue). This plant is a serious pest of BC rangelands.

Mogulones crucifer (the Weevil)

Chandra Moffat (co-supervised with Jason Pither) investigated a new biocontrol agent for invasive European hawkweeds, by going to Europe and quantifying host use in Switzerland, Germany and the Czech Republic. She is presently pursuing a PhD in New Brunswick and has published the first of her papers from her work here (see Moffat et al., below)

Orange hawkweed shot in the BC interior. Hawkweeds are quite pretty, but are aggressive invaders of mid-elevation habitats in the BC interior.

The weed work is done with the active collaboration of RoseMarie DeClerck-Floate, a scientist working for Agriculture Canada in Lethbridge.

I also still do some theoretical work.
Bernie Roitberg and I recently examined the relationship between the dynamics of a population and the ease with which extended dormancy evolves. We and Brian Ma are currently looking at the implications of dormancy to the dynamics of simple communities.

Selected Publications

Moffat, C.E., Lalonde, R.G., Ensing, D.J., De Clerck-Floate, R.A., Grosskopf-Lachat, G., Pither, J. 2013. Frequency-dependent host species use by a candidate biological control insect within its native European range.
Biological Control 67: 498-508

Bannerman, J.A., Shorthouse, J.D., Pither, J. and R.G. Lalonde. 2012.
Variability in the parasitoid community associated with galls of Diplolepis variabilis (Hymenoptera:Cynipidae): A test of the distance decay hypothesis. The Canadian Entomologist 144: 635-644

Lalonde, R.G. and B.D. Roitberg. 2006. Chaotic dynamics can select for long-term dormancy.
The American Naturalist 168: 127-131 (pdf)

Shorthouse, J.D., J.J. Leggo, M.D. Sliva and R.G. Lalonde. 2005. Egg location and its influence on the radiation of Diplolepis (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae) gall wasps on wild roses.
Basic and Applied Ecology 6: 423-434 (pdf)

Lalonde, R.G. 2005. Egg size variation does not affect offspring performance under intraspecific competition in
Nasonia vitripennis, a gregarious parasitoid. Journal of Animal Ecology 74: 630-635 (pdf)

Lalonde, R.G. 2004. Some dynamical consequences of parasitoid diapause.
Oikos 107: 338-344 (pdf)

Lalonde, R.G. and J. D. Shorthouse. 2000. Using rose galls for field exercises in community ecology and island biogeography.
American Biology Teacher 62: 436-441 (pdf)

Hoffmeister, T., Roitberg, B. and Lalonde, R. 2000. Catching Ariadne by her thread: how a parasitoid exploits the herbivore's marking trails to locate its host.
Ent. exp Appl. 95: 77-85 (pdf)

Lalonde, R.G., R.R. McGregor, D.R. Gillespie, B.D. Roitberg. 1999. Plant-feeding by arthropod predators contributes to the stability of predator-prey dynamics.
Oikos 87: 603-608 (pdf)

This page was last updated April 2014
by Bob Lalonde. All photographs are my own work.

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