The development of biocontrol tools against insect pests and the evaluation of natural agents to provide growers and landscapers with safe and effective ways to eliminate pests and weeds is the focal point of this research area. Michael Brownbridge, PhD and his research team are working on initiatives to address these issues and other wide-ranging studies aimed at creating higher levels of productivity and safeguarding crops against environmental stress and pests.
Current projects include:
- Greening the Canadian Landscape – Current research focuses on soil remediation strategies to increase tree growth rates, nutrient management and validation of species selection in remediated sites.
- The Right Tools: Integrating Biocontrol Systems for Impact – This research is developing effective biocontrol strategies for the control of thrips and other insect pests in greenhouse and nursery settings. Results will provide greenhouse and nursery growers with best management practices that integrate conventional and novel approaches.
- Feeding Diversity: Bringing World Crops to Market – The main goal for this research program is to commercialize news crops for new consumer markets. The Horticultural Production Systems team also assesses in the field various biodegradable agricultural mulch.
- Putting Technology to Work for Horticulture: Process Control and Automation Engineering – Seven initiatives are incorporated in this main research program including the development of an automated vegetable packing system, an automated mushroom harvester, an automated planting system and a wireless irrigation sensing system.