Western Biology professor Brent John Sinclair has been awarded the 2012 Entomological Society of Canada’s C. Gordon Hewitt Award for outstanding achievement in Canadian entomology by a researcher under 40.
Sinclair has quickly built a reputation as a world authority in insect cold-hardiness. His research has not only contributed to basic understanding of insect overwintering, but has been applied to topics of importance to Canada (e.g., climate change, insect biogeography and the population dynamics of invasive species like the emerald ash borer).
Sinclair began his life and research interests in New Zealand, completing a BSc and PhD at the University of Otago, the latter in 2001 on The Ecology and Physiology of New Zealand Alpine and Antarctic Arthropods. After two productive postdoctoral fellowships (University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, 2001-04; University of Nevada-Las Vegas, United States, 2004-06), he obtained his present faculty position in 2006.
At Western, he has shown remarkable success in publication (32 papers in top journals in the last three years) and grantsmanship, resulting in numerous international invitations to speak on his research and prestigious awards.
Despite his busy schedule, Sinclair finds time to devote to service. He has mentored 12 graduate students, three postdoctoral fellows and, in the past five years, more than 70 undergraduate volunteers. He believes in encouraging “capacity and enthusiasm for research.”
He also is dedicated to public outreach, which has ranged from provincial park presentations to helping with First Nations science camps in Ontario. Beyond his professional service as an avid reviewer of papers (45 journals) and grants (eight granting agencies) and on various advisory committees, Sinclair is committed to collaboration and building research possibilities in Canada and abroad.