Diversified farmlands in British Columbia

Project Outline

DescriptionRe-diversifying farmlands to promote blueberry pollination, pest control and yield in British Columbia. We are looking at how farmer’s use of hedgerows, grassland fallows and flower strips influenced pollinator and dragonfly communities, and whether this in turn affects pollination, yield and quality of blueberry, a highly pollinator dependent plant, and pest control of spotted wing drosophila, a major pest of blueberry in this region.

Project background: As a part of a multi-project multi-lab research initiative, WoRCS lab members implemented several projects between 2020 and 2022 in Delta British Columbia, Canada. Projects were co-designed with members of the Plant-Insect Ecology and Evolution Lab (PIEE), the Plant-Pollinator and Global Change Lab (PPGC), and Delta Farmland Wildlife and Trust.

Principle Collaborators: Prof Juli Carillo (UBC), Prof Risa Sargent (UBC)

Research assistants: Julia Bizon, Duncan McNaughton, Kahsennaro:roks Deom, Tatum Narode, Hazel Barthel, Gaurav Singh-Varma, Hayat Mahdjoub

Project Partners: Delta Farmland & Wildlife Trust, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, BC Blueberry Council

Funding Partners: Investment Agriculture Foundation of British Columbia, MITACS, NSERC Discovery, NSERC Alliance

Land Acknowledgment:  This research takes place on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of the Coast Salish Peoples, including the territories of the xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil- Waututh) Nations. 


Research Themes


Harnessing the Potential for Pollinator Conservation in Agriculture: Semi-Natural Habitat enhancements in Delta, BC

Lead: Carly McGregor, MSc
Completed: 2022

Wild Bumble Bee Visitation is Necessary to Reduce Pollination Deficit in High Bush Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) Farms 

Lead: Sasha Tuttle, MSc
Completed: 2022

Understanding Changes in Dragonfly Diet Across an Agricultural Landscape using Metabarcoding.

Lead: Prof Rassim Khelifa, PhD
Completed: (IN PROGRESS)

WoRCS Lab Members

Carly mcgregor

Jenna Melanson

Sasha Tuttle

Tyler Kelly

Claire Kremen

Rassim Khelifa

Field Work Delta BC, Canada