Maya Evenden, PhD

Professor, Faculty of Science - Biological Sciences
Associate Chair (Undergrad), Faculty of Science - Biological Sciences

Contact

Professor, Faculty of Science - Biological Sciences
Email
mevenden@ualberta.ca
Phone
(780) 492-1873
Address
B-428 Bio Science - Botany Wing
11355 - Saskatchewan Drive
Edmonton AB
T6G 2E9

Associate Chair (Undergrad), Faculty of Science - Biological Sciences
Email
bioacu@ualberta.ca
Phone
(780) 492-0076
Address
CW405 Bio Science - Centre Wing
11355 - Saskatchewan Drive
Edmonton AB
T6G 2E9

Overview

Area of Study / Keywords

Chemical Ecology Integrated Pest Management Insect Behaviour Lepidoptera Coleoptera


About

Lab Website:  https://grad.biology.ualberta.ca/evenden/


Research

Current Research Interests Most organisms communicate using chemical signals. Insects use chemical signals for a variety of functions including: mate finding, habitat and host selection, foraging and egg-laying decisions. The reliability and repeatability of these signals will depend on ecological factors and physiological state of the signaler and responder. We take an eco-physiological approach to understand insect chemical signalling and movement by flight in response to chemical cues using several insect species as models.


1. Plasticity of chemical communication in insects:


In long-lived insects, reproduction can be delayed to provide energy for dispersal (migration) or somatic maintenance in unfavourable conditions (overwintering). Little is known about the effect of delayed reproduction on response to chemical cues in insects. We study the effect of physiological state on response to pheromone and host volatile cues in long-lived moths and beetles.


2. Trade-offs between reproduction and flight in insects:


In insects, resource allocation trade-offs occur between energetic investment to flight and other life history investments such as reproduction and longevity. We study insects with varying mating systems, resource acquisition patterns and dispersal capacities to understand factors that drive physiological trade-offs in these species.


3. Development of pheromone-based pest management systems:


Knowledge of the role that chemical cues play in ecological situations permits exploitation of chemical communication by pest managers. Synthetic copies of chemical signals can be used to monitor pest populations and to directly control them. We approach the development of IPM programs by determining the mechanism by which the approach works and its efficacy. If the mechanism of the tactic is known, limitations of the tactic can be addressed before the program is implemented.


Teaching

Courses:

Biol 434/534: Chemical Ecology/ Advanced Chemical Ecology

Ent 101: Insect-Human Interactions

Ent 220: Insect Biology

Ent 222: Insects in Managed Ecosystems

Courses

BIOL 434 - Chemical Ecology

An introduction to the broad field of Chemical Ecology through survey, discussion and analysis of current and historical literature. Topics include a wide array of chemically-mediated ecological interactions in a variety of taxa. Studies that analyze the importance of the use of chemical signals for habitat selection, resource acquisition, reproduction, defense and social interactions are discussed. Students research topics in Chemical Ecology and present their findings in oral and written formats. Prerequisite: BIOL 208. CHEM 164 or 261 recommended. Credit cannot be obtained for both BIOL 434 and 534. Offered in alternate years.

Winter Term 2022
BIOL 534 - Advanced Chemical Ecology

An introduction to the broad field of Chemical Ecology through survey, discussion and analysis of current and historical literature. Topics include a wide array of chemically-mediated ecological interactions in a variety of taxa. Studies that analyze the importance of the use of chemical signals for habitat selection, resource acquisition, reproduction, defense and social interactions are discussed. Students research topics in Chemical Ecology and present their findings in oral and written formats. Graduate students complete an additional assignment and evaluation appropriate to graduate studies. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. Credit cannot be obtained for both BIOL 434 and 534. Offered in alternate years.

Winter Term 2022

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