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Queen's University

    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

    downe.pngAl 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.

    2014 Al Downe Lecturer

    Steve Whyard

    Biotech vs Bugs - Exploring RNAi as a Strategy for Controlling Pests

    Friday, March 14th, 12:30AM - 1:30PM
    Room 132A, Medical Education Clinical Centre, 15 Arch Street

    Steve Whyard is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Manitoba.



    Previous Al Downe Lecturers:


    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.

    Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000