Dr. Kenna Mackenzie (left), director of operations at PARC, next to Dr. Tom Lowery, wearing his Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Dr. Tom Lowery, an entomologist at the Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre (PARC) in Summerland, was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal “in recognition of his leadership in integrated and sustainable pest management for grapes and his contributions to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) National Plum Pox Virus Program.”
Other parts of Dr. Lowery’s research focused on using non-chemical methods to manage mite and insect pests of grapevines, thereby allowing a reduction in the use of chemicals in the Okanagan’s wine region.
In his work, Dr. Lowery used ground cover vegetation to reduce pests, enhancing the population of beneficial insects and the use of natural diseases to keep insect pest populations under control.
Some of his work was on finding pesticides that had very specific actions to minimize their effect on other parts of the environment or on reducing the effects of pathogens some insects carry that damage the grape vines.
Hans Buchler, chair of the BC Wine Grape Council, says, “Tom Lowery has spearheaded and supported the move to more environmentally sustainable solutions in the field of pest control.”
The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal was created to honour both the Queen’s sixtieth year on the throne and significant contributions and achievements of Canadians.