Richard R. Bélanger

Canada Research Chair in Phytoprotection

Tier 1 - 2017-11-01
Renewed: 2016-02-01
Université Laval
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council


Research involves

Finding new methods to control natural enemies of crops.

Research relevance

Will lead to the production of healthier foods through agricultural practices that are less harmful to the environment.

Natural Pesticides?

When pesticides were first introduced to the market, they were seen as a broad panacea for agriculture, able to solve all problems plaguing producers. A few decades later, they are known to be major pollutants that destroy ecosystems, reduce water quality and cause some diseases in humans. Since modern agriculture is now dependent on chemicals, researchers are facing a daunting scientific challenge in their effort to protect the environment. They must find ways to maintain the productivity and quality of agricultural resources, while at the same time reducing the use and impact of chemicals. Richard Bélanger, a professor at Université Laval, has devoted most of his career as a researcher to finding such solutions. Mr. Bélanger is at the centre of a large network of collaborators who work in North and South America and Europe. Part of its work focuses on finding ways to control fungi on cereal, vegetable and ornamental crops. His research team is responsible for many discoveries, which include showing that several minerals extracted from plants and microbial agents have properties that enable them to counter numerous attacks on plants. Mr. Bélanger is also the inventor of one of the first biofungicides, a biological tool used to destroy certain fungi. The study and commercialization of biological control tools require close collaboration between researchers and the private sector. That is why Mr. Bélanger's team works closely with government authorities, the private sector and several other research groups.