Dr. Brendan Daisley is the Recipient of a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship
Four emerging scholars have been offered Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships at U of G. Named for Dr. Frederick Banting, the Canadian medical scientist and Nobel laureate who helped discover insulin, these awards are the Government of Canada’s most prestigious post-doctoral fellowships, valued at $70,000 annually for two years.
In total, 70 Banting Fellowships were provided to researchers across Canada this year. The awards are funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council.
Food insecurity, honeybee decline and social vulnerability to climate change are the research topics of Dr. Jade Da Costa, Dr. Brendan Daisley and Dr. Nasir Khan, the three scholars who will take up their fellowships at the University of Guelph this academic year.
“Our bee populations are experiencing unsustainable mortality rates from the combined effects of infectious disease, agrochemical exposure and habitat loss, especially due to climate change,” said Dr. Brendan Daisley. “While the latter can only be addressed by systemic change, my research aims to help honeybees tackle issues of disease and toxicity.”
Working in the lab of Dr. Emma Allen-Vercoe, a professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology in the College of Biological Science, Daisley will study the honeybee microbiome, the community of microbes that contribute to the bees’ health and resilience.
Beneficial microbes have been proven to help health outcomes in humans, but their role in honeybee health has been understudied, he said. He will explore how microbes might be used therapeutically to help honeybees combat disease and counteract the harmful effects of pesticides and other chemicals.
Daisley also played a key role in the recent launch of The Canadian Bee Gut Project, which crowdsources honeybee samples from beekeepers across Canada to catalogue bee-associated microbes. The data will be used to determine the connection between specific microbial fingerprints and bee health, he said.
Daisley holds a PhD in microbiology and immunology and a BSc in biology from Western University.