The Al Downe Lecture
The Al Downe Lecture is funded from the Al Downe Memorial Fund which was initially established in 2007 via a generous donation from a former student in order to provide an opportunity for Queen’s students to experience the inspiration and knowledge of a high profile Lecturer. Subsequently the Fund has attracted donations from other students, colleagues, friends and family.
Aylward E.R. Downe
Al Downe, BSc (Alberta), MSc and PhD (Queen’s) was Fellow of the Entomological Society of Canada and of the New York Academy of Sciences. He taught at Kansas State and University of Saskatchewan, Regina before coming to Queen’s as an Associate Professor in 1967. He served as Head of the Department of Biology (1975-1980) and retired in 1993, but continued his association with the department until his death in 2002. Al Downe inspired generations of Queen’s Biology students in the classroom and also in the laboratory. His research on the biochemical and reproductive physiology of blood feeding insects was of the highest quality, and his great depth and breadth of knowledge was passed on to research students and undergraduates with rigor, energy, passion and much humor. Al was a gifted speaker, who shared his great enthusiasm for science in ways that stirred and motivated others. In recognition of this Al was awarded the 1992/93 Biology Department Student Council Award for Excellence in Teaching. It is thus fitting that he is remembered by bringing a high profile lecturer to speak to the Queen’s community on biology related topics.
2018 Al Downe Lecturer
Dr. Vett Lloyd
Professor of Biology
Mount Allison University
Aylward E.R. Downe Memorial Lecture
“The trouble with tick tourism: Exotic ticks, hybrid ticks and the spread of Lyme disease”
Thursday, April 5, 12:00 pm, Rm 021 School of Medicine Building
reception to follow in biosciences Complex rm 3110
Ticks transmit a greater diversity of pathogens to humans and animals than any other arthropod. Aided by climate change, tick populations are establishing and expanding in Canada. But ticks from established populations are not the only problems faced by Canadians, ticks are introduced into Canada on migrating birds and mammals. Birds can transport ticks, and their pathogens, great distances and the introduction of unexpected pathogens poses problems for disease diagnostics. Additionally, ticks are sexually promiscuous and there is evidence for hybridization between introduced and local tick species leading to hybrid species, potentially combining traits of both parental species. All of these aspects of tick biology lead to the enhanced spread of tick-vectored pathogens and the diseases they cause, such as Lyme disease.
Previous Al Downe Lecturers:
2016. Dr. Mariana Federica Wolfner is a Professor in the Deptartment of Molucular Biology & Genetics, Cornell University, Ithica NY
The inside-view of reproductive interactions between males, females, & their molecules in Drosophila
2014. Steve Whyard is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Manitoba.
Biotech vs Bugs - Exploring RNAi as a Strategy for Controlling Pests
2012. Angela E. Douglas is the Daljit S. and Elaine Sarkaria Professor of Insect Physiology and Toxicology at Cornell University.
Friends Within: Interactions Between Insects and Their Resident Microbiota.
2011. Anthony A. James – Distinguished Professor, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of California (Irvine).
Development of anti-pathogen effector genes for control of vector-borne diseases.
2010. Marla B. Sokolowski – Professor of Biology and Canada Research Chair in Genetics and Behavioural Neurology, University of Toronto (Mississauga).
The foraging gene: will that be to stay or to go?
2008. Peter F. Billingsley – Senior Director, Entomology and Quality Systems, Sanaria Inc., Rockville, MD.
Exploiting the immune interface between vectors and their hosts.