New faculty boosts field crop entomology expertise at Ridgetown Campus | Ontario Agricultural College

New faculty boosts field crop entomology expertise at Ridgetown Campus

Posted on Wednesday, June 12th, 2024

U of G’s Ridgetown Campus once again has a dedicated entomologist that will boost its teaching and research impact. Leading entomologist, Dr. Jocelyn Smith is Ridgetown’s new Assistant Professor in Field Crop Entomology. Dr. Smith will continue to be based out of the Ridgetown Campus as she joins OAC’s School of Environmental Sciences.

Smith brings over 15 years of experience in pest and insect resistance management (IRM) for crops and in managing large, internationally recognized field and laboratory research programs. Through her research, she has partnered with notable organizations such as Grain Farmers of Ontario, OMAFRA, AAFC, Bayer CropScience, Syngenta, Corteva and BASF.

“I have been a part of the Ridgetown Campus for many years, but I am excited to begin this new chapter of my career,” says Dr. Smith. “I hope to make an even greater impact on Ontario agriculture through both research and teaching in field crop entomology.”

Since 2019, Smith worked at the Ridgetown Campus as a research scientist. She will teach in Ridgetown’s associate diploma programs and conduct research that contributes to addressing agricultural needs for integrated pest management solutions and the impacts of climate change, sustainable agroecosystems, and food security.

“We’re excited for Dr. Smith to excel in this new role,” says Brett Shepherd, Director of the Ridgetown Campus. “She will play a leading role in connecting with Ontario’s agriculture sector on their pest management and crop production needs and help train the next generation of leaders.”

A renowned and passionate teacher and researcher in entomology, Smith learned under the tutelage of former professor at Ridgetown Campus, Dr. Art Schaasfma. In 2023, Smith won the University of Guelph Faculty Association’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

“I really enjoy interacting with students from different backgrounds who are passionate about starting their career in agriculture,” says Dr. Smith. “I believe it is crucial for those going into the industry to understand the importance of sustainable, responsible, integrated pest management and insect resistance management.”

In the coming months, Ridgetown is expected to announce a new faculty hire in plant pathology.

“It’s critical for both Ridgetown and the broader agricultural sector to have these two positions conducting important research, and solving emerging challenges in the sector,” says Shepherd.

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