Professor Bernard Slippers visited Prof. Jeremy Allison between 17 and 24 March at the Great Lakes Forestry Centre (GLFC), one of five centres of the Canadian Forest Service (part of Natural Resources Canada), in Sault Ste. Marie. The visit was aimed at advancing ongoing joint forest health projects and to strategize around new initiatives that would harness the strength of both organizations and the link between them. The meeting also reconnected Prof. Slippers with Dr Josephine Queffelec, a previous FABI PhD student jointly supervised with Prof. Allison, and who is now postdoctoral Fellow based at GLFC. Her work focuses on life history traits linked to biological control success. The visit also included meetings with other students and researchers linked with the work of Prof. Allison.

GLFC and FABI have built a strong partnership over the past nine years, focused on forest health research and capacity development through Prof. Allison. He first visited FABI in 2014 as an external examiner for the thesis of Dr Marc Bouwer. He has since visited FABI annually and has become a key partner in building chemical ecology and insect behavior research capacity at FABI. In 2018 a Satellite Laboratory in Applied Chemical Ecology was launched at FABI, which Prof. Allison leads. Since then, the partnership has jointly-funded and completed three postdoctoral Fellowships, two PhDs and three MScs, a number of staff exchanges to learn about biological control, insect rearing, chemical ecology and more, and 15 research papers. In terms of engagement, the partnership counts the joint organization or hosting of one international conference (International Society of Chemical Ecology), an online seminar series and several symposia linked to IUFRO, as well as a Task Force on Precision Pest Management and Working Party on Behavioral and Chemical Ecology of Forest Insects. Most recently, an African Centre for Chemical Ecology was launched, linked with FABI, which Prof. Allison leads.

Clearly the partnership between FABI and GLFC has grown in value to both organizations. An MOU that was signed in 2018 between these organizations will expire in May 2023. During the visit, Prof. Slippers and Prof. Allison met with leadership of GLFC to discuss the renewal of the MOU. All parties expressed a keen desire to renew the MOU, and are looking for ways to use the foundation of the current partnership to achieve even more impact in the coming five years that a new partnership would span.