Two FABIans, Dr Brett Hurley and Ms. Samantha Bush, visited the Great Lakes Forestry Centre (GLFC) in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada from 26-30 September. The GLFC is one of five research centres of the Canadian Forest Service and part of its research focus is to provide information on forest pests. In addition, the GLFC has a world-class insect production unit that supplies insects and insect diets to both the Canadian Forest Service and outside users for various research projects. Brett and Samantha were hosted by Dr Jeremy Allison, a research scientist with the GLFC and an on-going collaborator with FABI.

The main purpose of the trip was to visit the insect rearing and quarantine facilities and to learn from the processes and quality control systems used. This is with the objective of optimising and expanding biological control capacity at FABI due to the increasing importance of biological control to manage insect pests of plantation trees. Dr John Dedes, who heads the Insect Production Services at GLFC, provided a very informative tour of the impressive facility, which includes centrallised control of incubators, modular working laboratories and various equipment for large scale prodution of insect diet. The visit also included hands on experience with rearing insects in artificial diet, a presentation on forestry operations and challenges in Ontario, and discussions on potential collaborative projects.