2022 Weston Family Awards in Northern Research recipient
University of Guelph
Sawflies are a group of insects that are unusually diverse in northern North America. These herbivorous insects have great potential as indicator species in the North, but their taxonomy is poorly resolved and the full extent of their diversity is still unknown.
An entomologist completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics at the University of Guelph, Spencer is working to make northern sawflies easier to identify and to better understand their diversity—including by describing species previously unknown to science.
He hopes his work will highlight Northern Canada’s potential as a natural laboratory for studying insect diversity across the Northern Hemisphere. His goal is to unlock the potential of sawflies as a model system in which to study the impacts of climate change—past and present—on vulnerable northern insects.
Learn more about the Weston Family Awards in Northern Research.