Luc Leblanc



 Contact Info 
E-mail: leblancl [at] hawaii [dot] edu

Background

I am originally from Montréal, Canada. After my completing my studies in entomology in my home country (BScAgr, McGill University, 1986, MSc, Carleton University, 1988), I left for an adventurous and fulfilling work career that took me to Africa (Guinea and Rwanda, 1989-1994) and the Pacific Islands (Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, Fiji Islands, 1994-2002). It is in the Pacific that I became a full-time fruit fly entomologist, working for the Regional Fruit Fly Project in the Pacific. In early 2003, I joined the University of Hawai'i CTAHR-PEPS, working as a Junior Researcher for the Area-Wide Fruit Fly IPM program in Hawai'i, in close association with the US Department of Agriculture Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center. Initially, I was in charge of the mass-rearing operation of melon fly (Bactrocera cucurbitae) and Oriental fruit fly (B. dorsalis) for sterile insect release in the area-wide program. In October 2004, I joined the UH insect Systematics lab as a Junior Researcher, leading a research project on the attraction of non-target arthropods to female attractants (Biolure) and male lures (methyl eugenol and Cue-lure) used for monitoring and controling fruit flies (Tephritidae). I am assessing the risks to beneficial insects and to native Hawaiian insects of applying fruit fly control using attractants in various ecological situations, ranging from orchards and farmlands, to disturbed forest and to native forest. Special emphasis is on assessing risks of attracting Hawaiian Drosophilidae. With 491 described endemic species and probably over 900 in total in Hawai'i, this group is very important to conservationists and basic evolutionary research. The main achievements and  findings from the first two years of the project are summarized below.


Projects

Successful integrated pest management emphasizes the use of environmentally less toxic control methods for agricultural pests. However, it is possible that some of these more desirable methods may have unanticipated non-target impacts. This study evaluates the potential for such impacts in Hawaii's Fruit Fly (Tephritidae) suppression efforts. Field investigations were carried out to assess the possible attraction to fruit fly attractants along ecological gradients ranging from native, mixed and secondary forests to agricultural farmlands and residential areas. More info on project.


Previous Work Experience

2003-2004: Junior Researcher; fruit fly entomologist. University of Hawaii, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. HAWAII, USA. Area-wide fruit fly management program in Hawaii.

  • Mass production of melon fly (Bactrocera cucurbitae) for field control by Sterile Insect Technique, as a component of the Area-Wide fruit fly IPM project, implemented by the US Department of Agriculture and the University of Hawaii.

1999-2002: Entomologist (Fruit Flies). Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC). Suva, FIJI ISLANDS. FAO/AusAID/UNDP/SPC Project RAS/97/331 “Regional Management of Fruit Flies in the Pacific."

  • Coordination of the Regional Project's involvement in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna, French Polynesia and New Caledonia.
  • Regular technical backstopping country visits to the above countries, plus Palau, Federated States of Micronesia and Nauru.
  • Coordination of whole project from April 2000 to February 2001 (taken over since by a Pacific Islander).
  • Advisory involvement in the Nauru and French Polynesia fruit fly eradication programs.
  • Creation and webmastering of Pacific Fruit Fly Website.
  • Publication of country status reports, technical reports and pest advisory leaflets on fruit flies and their management in the Pacific.
  • Compilation of regional information database on fruit fly distribution, host relations and economic impact of fruit flies throughout the Pacific region.
  • Creation of Pacific regional fruit fly reference collection (>120 species).

1997-1999: United Nations Volunteer Entomologist. United Nations Development Programme. Port Moresby, PAPUA NEW GUINEA. FAO/AusAID/UNDP/SPC Project RAS/97/331 “Regional Management of Fruit Flies in the Pacific."

  • Establishment of fruit fly research laboratory in Papua New Guinea, including building renovations.
  • Research on fruit fly biology and control, including trapping, host fruit surveying, damage assessments, field control by bagging and protein bait spraying and laboratory rearing.
  • Establishment of quarantine surveillance in PNG Island Provinces and the Highlands.
  • Demonstration of control methods to farmers and in schools.
  • Development of databases to preserve trapping, host surveying and lab colony data.
  • Training of national counterpart staff and quarantine and extension agents.
  • Coordination of fruit fly activities throughout PNG via national staff in fruit fly laboratories in Lae and Port Moresby.
  • Publication of a newsletter, extension leaflets, survey reports and regular technical reports.

1994-1997: United Nations Volunteer Entomologist. United Nations Development Programme. Pohnpei Island. FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA. FAO/AusAID/UNDP/SPC Project RAS/93/300 “Regional Fruit Fly Project in the Pacific."

  • Same duties as above, but based on Pohnpei Island, Federated States of Micronesia.
  • Additional duties achieved include development of an emergency response plan for FSM, preliminary heat tolerance testing on mango fly (Bactrocera frauenfeldi) in preparation for post harvest quarantine treatments, host status testing of limes and lemons and submission of results to USDA to develop export opportunities to Guam, introduction, rearing and release of fruit fly parasitoids, and publication of results in scientific papers.

1992-1994: United Nations Volunteer Entomologist. United Nations Development Programme. Kigali, RWANDA.

  • Initiation and follow up of biological control programs against pest insects of cassava and stored products.
  • Writing and publication of technical documents to prepare initiation of new integrated control programs against main agricultural pests in Rwanda.
  • Surveys of crop pest insects.
  • Constitution of pest insect reference collections.
  • Training in biological control and in collecting, preserving and identification of insects for agronomists and university students.

1989-1991: Instructor in Entomology. CECI: Centre Canadien d'Etudes et de Coopération Internationale. Konakry, REPUBLIC OF GUINEA.

  • Volunteer for a Canadian NGO.
  • Teaching lectures and practical courses in general, medical and agricultural entomology at University of Conakry (Republic of Guinea, West Africa).
  • Preparation for publication of a course syllabus.
  • Supervisor for thirteen student final projects in agricultural and medical entomology.
  • Missions to Mount Nimba, for a UNESCO project, to survey (collecting, preservation and identification) agricultural pest insects and arthropods of medical and veterinary importance.

1983 to 1994: Technician in entomology (Hymenoptera taxonomy). Agriculture Canada. Canadian National Collection of Insects. Ottawa, CANADA.

  • Assistance to research scientists in systematics of parasitoid Hymenoptera (especially Chalcidoidea).
  • Collection, dissection, preservation and identification of Hymenoptera.
  • Curation of the Canadian National Collection of Insects (Hymenoptera section).
  • Scanning electron microscope photography.
  • Research in systematics of Ichneumonidae and Tenthredinidae and publication of taxonomic papers.
  • Employed by Carl Yoshimoto, Gary Gibson and John Huber.

1986, 1989: Entomologist. Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service. Ottawa, CANADA.

  • Field sampling (1989) and sorting and identification (1986) of aquatic arthropods in a study of the effects of acid rain pollution on aquatic fauna (ducks, fishes, invertebrates) of lakes in Northern Ontario.


Publications

Allwood, A.J. and L. Leblanc. 1997. Losses Caused by Fruit Flies (Diptera:Tephritidae) in Seven Pacific Island Countries. pp. 208-211 In: Allwood, A.J., and Drew, R.A.I. Management of Fruit Flies in the Pacific. A regional symposium, Nadi, Fiji 28-31 October 1996. ACIAR Proceedings No. 76. 267pp.

Allwood, A.J., Vueti, E.T., Leblanc, L. and R. Bull. 2002. Eradication of introduced Bactrocera species (Diptera: Tephritidae) in Nauru using male annihilation and protein bait application techniques. Pp. 19-25 in: Veitch, C.R, and M.N. Clout (eds). 2002. Turning the tide: the eradication of invasive species. Occasional papers of the IUCN Species Survival Commission. No. 27.

Clarke, A.R., Balagawi, S., Clifford, B., Drew, R.A.I., Leblanc, L., Mararuai, A.N., McGuire, D., Putulan, D., Romig, T., Sar, S., and D. Tenakanai. 2004. Distribution and biogeography of Bactrocera and Dacus species (Diptera: Tephritidae) in Papua New Guinea. Australian Journal of Entomology 43:148-156.

Clarke, A.R., Balagawi, S., Clifford, B., Drew, R.A.I., Leblanc, L., Mararuai, A., McGuire, D., Putulan, D., Sar, S., and D. Tenakanai. 2002. Evidence of orchid visitation by Bactrocera species (Diptera: Tephritidae) in Papua New Guinea. Journal of Tropical Ecology 18: 441-448.

Leblanc, L. 1989. A taxonomic revision of the Nearctic species of Himerta (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae). Contributions of the American Entomological Institute. 27(3): 1-75.

Leblanc, L. 1989. The Nearctic Eremotylus costalis group with the description of a new species (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae). Contributions of the American Entomological Institute. 27(3): 76-82.

Leblanc, L. 1997. Fruit fly fauna in Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Palau, Kiribati, Northern Marianas and Marshall Islands. pp. 64-67 In: Allwood, A.J., and Drew, R.A.I. Management of Fruit Flies in the Pacific. A regional symposium, Nadi, Fiji 28-31 October 1996. ACIAR Proceedings No. 76. 267pp.

Leblanc, L. and A.J. Allwood. 1997. Mango fruit fly (Bactrocera frauenfeldi): Why so many in Federated States of Micronesia? pp.125-130 In: Allwood, A.J., and Drew, R.A.I. Management of Fruit Flies in the Pacific. A regional symposium, Nadi, Fiji 28-31 October 1996. ACIAR Proceedings No. 76. 267pp.

Leblanc, L. 1999. The Nearctic species of Protarchus (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae: Ctenopelmatinae). Journal of Hymenoptera Research. 8: 251-267.

Leblanc, L. and H. Goulet. 1992. Descriptions of larvae of eight Nearctic species of Dolerus (Hymenoptera: Tenthredinidae) with focus on six Equisetum feeding species from the Ottawa region. Canadian Entomologist. 124: 999-1014.

Leblanc, L. and R. Hollingsworth. 1997. Rate of development of the immature stages of Bactrocera frauenfeldi in papaya-based diet. pp.164-167 In: Allwood, A.J., and Drew, R.A.I. Management of Fruit Flies in the Pacific. A regional symposium, Nadi, Fiji 28-31 October 1996. ACIAR Proceedings No. 76. 267pp.

Leblanc, L., Leweniqila, L., Tau, D., Tumukon, T., Kassim, A., and R. Hollingsworth. 1997. Can fruit flies be controlled in a village with a mixed orchard? Pacific Island Experiences. pp.187-191 In: Allwood, A.J., and Drew, R.A.I. Management of Fruit Flies in the Pacific. A regional symposium, Nadi, Fiji 28-31 October 1996. ACIAR Proceedings No. 76. 267pp.

Leblanc, L., O'Grady, P.M., Rubinoff, D., and S.L. Montgomery. 2009. New immigrant Drosophilidae in Hawaii, and a checklist of the established immigrant species. Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society. 41: 121-127.

Leblanc, L., Rubinoff, D., and R.I. Vargas. 2009. Attraction of nontarget species to fruit fly (Diptera: Tephritidae) male lures and decaying fruit flies in Hawaii. Environmental Entomology. 38: 1446-1461.

Leblanc, L., Vargas, R.I., and D. Rubinoff. 2010. Attraction of Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae) and endemic and introduced nontarget insects to BioLure bait and its individual components in Hawaii. Environmental Entomology. IN PRESS.

Leblanc, L., William, J., and A.J. Allwood. 2004. Host fruit of mango fly (Bactrocera frauenfeldi (Schiner)) (Diptera: Tephritidae) in Federated States of Micronesia. Micronesica. 37: 21-31.

Mararuai, A., Allwood, A., Balagawi, S., Dori, F., Kalamen, M., Leblanc, L., Putulan, D., Sar, S., Schuhbeck, A., Tenakanai, D., and A. Clarke. 2002. Introduction and distribution of Bactrocera musae (Tryon) (Diptera: Tephritidae) in East New Britain, Papua New Guinea. Papua New Guinea Journal of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. 45: 59-65.

McInnis, D., Leblanc, L., and R. Mau. 2007. Melon fly (Diptera: Tephritidae) genetic sexing: all-male sterile fly releases in Hawaii. Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society. 39: 105-110.

Shyaka J.B., and L. Leblanc. 1994. Biological control of cassava mealybug, Phenacoccus manihoti, and its present status in Rwanda. In: Allard GB, Skoglund LG, Neuenschwander P, Murphy RJ, eds. Proceedings of a Regional Workshop on Root and Tuber Pest Management in East and Southern Africa 10-14 August 1992, Mombassa. Nairobi, Kenya: CAB International, 161-169.

Vargas, R.I., Leblanc, L., Putoa, R., and A. Eitam. 2007. Impact of introduction of Bactrocera dorsalis (Diptera: Tephritidae) and classical biological control releases of Fopius arisanus (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) on economically important fruit flies in French Polynesia. Journal of Economic Entomology. 100(3): 670-679.

Vargas, R.I., Shelly, T.E., Leblanc, L. and J.C. Pinero. 2010. Recent advances in methyl eugenol and cue-lure technologies for fruit fly detection, monitoring, and control. Vitamins and Hormones. Section: Pheromones, vol. 83. Academic Press. SUBMITTED.

Pacific Fruit Fly Web site: available online at http://www.spc.int/pacifly. I have created and webmastered the entire site.

SPC Pest Advisory leaflets on fruit flies in the Pacific:

Allwood, A.J, Leblanc, L., Tora Vueti, E. and R. Bull. 2001. Fruit Fly Control methods for Pacific island Countries and Territories. Leaflet Number 40. 12 pages.
Leblanc, L.. 2000. Fruit flies in Solomon Islands. Leaflet No.30. 4pp.
Leblanc, L. and A. Allwood. 1997. Mango fruit fly. Leaflet No. 34. 4pp.
Leblanc, L., Balagawi, S., Mararuai, A., Putulan, D., Tenakanai, D., Clarke, A.C. 2001. Fruit flies in Papua New Guinea. SPC Pest Advisory Leaflet No. 37. 12 pages.
Leblanc, L., Mararuai, A. and M. Kalamen. 1999. Fruit bagging to control fruit flies. Leaflet No. 36. 4pp.
Leblanc, L. and R. Amice. 2000. Fruit flies in New Caledonia. Leaflet No. 26. 4pp.
Leblanc, L. and R. Putoa. 2000. Fruit flies in Frwench Polynesia and Pitcairn Islands. Leaflet No. 29. 4pp.

Numerous technical reports on fruit flies and other pests of Africa and the Pacific: Complete list and some sample reports available on request.

 

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