Entomology is the study of insects and their allies. Insects are the most numerous and most diverse animals on earth, and occur in virtually every aquatic and terrestrial habitat. Insects pollinate, parasitize, predate, defoliate, scavenge, promote decomposition and provide food for vertebrates. Insect diversity is a measure of ecosystem health. Insect pests seriously limit agricultural and forest productivity, and actions taken to control insects can affect many components of the environment. Insects exhibit numerous behavioural, morphological and physiological adaptations to their environment and offer many examples of evolution at work.
Entomology became a separate Department within the Faculty of Agriculture in 1920. The first M.Sc. student graduated in 1951, and the first Ph.D. in 1962. The Department's main focus is now undergraduate and graduate teaching, and research. Undergraduate teaching is within the framework of degrees or diplomas of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences. About half of the graduate work and research activity in the Department is in applied areas. Additionally, all academic staff do active research, and supervise graduate work, on fundamental entomological topics.
Departmental research facilities include the Wallis-Roughley Museum of Entomology, controlled environment chambers and an area for apiculture. Other accessible facilities include a scanning electron microscope, pesticide analysis laboratories, livestock, field plots and commercial scale fields, and greenhouse space.
The University of Manitoba
The University is the oldest University in Western Canada, and is a coeducational, non-denominational government-funded institution with about 24,000 students and 6,000 academic and support staff. The Department of Entomology is on the main campus, which is about 11 km south of the centre of Winnipeg. The main campus contains all non-medical Departments of the University, the main libraries, residences and student services, and is connected by direct transit routes to downtown and several residential areas of Winnipeg.
Winnipeg has a population exceeding 600,000 and is a major centre of agribusiness, transportation, culture and sports. It has a professional symphony orchestra, opera and ballet companies, theatres and museums, and professional football and hockey teams. Winnipeg is situated in the Red River Valley. The climate is continental with cold, usually sunny, winters and hot dry summers. There are abundant winter sports activities, and Manitoba's lakes and forests provide recreational opportunities in all seasons.