Photo of Peter Mason

Peter Mason

Adjunct Research Professor, Research Scientist

Degrees:B.Sc. (Guelph), M.Sc., Ph.D. (Saskatchewan)
Phone:(613) 759-1908
Office:Eastern Cereal and Oilseed Research Centre
Agriculture and AgriFood Canada
960 CARLING AVE, Bldg. 21,
Central Experimental Farm
Ottawa, ON K1A 0C6

Research Interests

Biological Control

Natural enemies perform an important ecosystem function by regulating population levels of pest plants and animals. Many of our pests originate from overseas and classical biological control involves the introduction of natural enemies from the region where a pest species naturally occurs. However, the benefits and risks of every natural enemy considered for introduction must be carefully weighed when making decisions that may affect our environment. Our research aims to discover new natural enemies, evaluate their potential as effective biological control agents, and determine their impact on non-target species. We also conduct research to develop new protocols and improve existing methods for non-target assessment of exotic parasitoid species.

Invasive Alien Species

Invasive alien species (IAS) are a significant threat to Canada’s biodiversity and economic well-being. Because we cannot make adequate estimates before a potential invader has been introduced and actually spreads, we cannot predict in quantitative terms what will happen to species introduced into new areas. Thus, principles for determining risk posed by alien species must be based on several criteria including conditions required for invasion, characteristics of invasive organisms, and type of ecosystems vulnerable to invasions. Our research aims to define attributes of alien species that contribute to invasiveness and to develop measures to quantify the risk posed by IAS.

Selected Publications

Dosdall, L.M., Mason, P.G. Key pests and parasitoids of oilseed rape or canola in North America and the importance of parasitoids in integrated management, in I.H. Williams and H.M.T. Hokkanen (eds.), Biocontrol – based integrated management of oilseed rape pests (Springer Verlag Press, 2008)

Kuhlmann, U., Schaffner, U. and Mason, P.G. 2006. Selection of non-target species for host specificity tests in F. Bigler, D. Babendreier, and U. Kuhlmann (eds), Biological Control of Arthropods Using Invertebrates: Methods for Environmental Risk Assessment. CABI Publishers, Wallingford, UK, pp. 15-37

Gillespie, D.R., Mason P.G., Dosdall, L.M., Bouchard, P., Gibson G.A.P., Importance of long-term research in classical biological control: an analytical review of a release against the cabbage seedpod weevil in North America, Journal of Applied Entomology. 130:401-409, 2006

De Clerck-Floate, R.A., P.G. Mason, D.J. Parker, D.R. Gillespie, A.B. Broadbent, G. Boivin. 2006. Guide for the Importation and Release of Arthropod Biological Control Agents in Canada. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada A42-105/2006E. 55p.

Goulet, H. Mason., P.G., Nearctic Species of Leiophron and Peristenus (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Euphorinae) Parasitoids of the Plant Bug Genus Lygus (Hemiptera: Miridae: Mirini): identification key, species descriptions and biology, Zootaxa. 383:1-118, 2006