Kent, Clement (Non-resident)
Clement was born in Washington D.C. in 1952. His father's career took the family to Key West, MIT, back to Virginia (Falls Church and Vienna), Cleveland, and finally Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada where his love of the outdoors and the boreal forest was kindled. Clement took his B.Sc. in mathematics at the University of Toronto, then worked in the computer software industry in roles including V.P. Research and Chief Technology Officer. He returned to the University of Toronto for his Ph.D. in insect behavioral neurogenetics (rec'd 2009), followed by postdoctoral work on the evolutionary genomics of honeybees at York University. He is a Senior Scientist at the Janelia Farm campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, studying the neurobiology of insect brains. He has 15 biology publications, 3 patents (1 biology, 2 computers) and a number of other publications on computing and horticulture. He is a member of the AAAS, the Society for Conservation Biology, Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution, the Society for the Study of Evolution, and the International Union for Studies of Social Insects. Clement is an avid native plant gardener. He co-founded the Parkdale Horticultural Society in 1987, then led its merger with the Toronto Horticultural Society, where he has been President many times. He is an experienced lecturer to garden groups, where he focuses on a topic he calls "ecological gardening" - learning to garden in ways that attract maximum numbers of native birds and insects with minimum inputs. His goal is to persuade city and suburban gardeners to "re-wild" their environment as much as possible. A special focus of his outreach efforts in recent years has been "Pollinator Gardens". These are native plant gardens specifically designed to attract a large diversity of native pollinators and provide them with food, water, and nesting habitat. His book "How to Make a Pollinator Garden" is a simple illustrated how-to guide to the topic. He has led the creation of a number of Pollinator Gardens in city parks, schools, and private homes, and designed and led the installation of a demonstration native plant garden in Canada's largest garden show. These efforts were acknowledged by the "Canadian Pollinator Advocate of the Year 2011" award from the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign. Recently his talks on pollinators and their environment have moved beyond gardening groups to acquaint landscapers, farmers, beekeepers, environmental studies students, and the general public with the recent rapid declines in many species of pollinators and to summarize scientific research on the causes of these declines. His favorite native plant is the Virginia Blue Bell (Mertensia virginica) and his favorite pollinator is the Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus). His biggest regret about moving from Canada to Virginia is giving up the country native plant garden he has cultivated for 17 years, the large patches of five species of milkweeds therein, and the multi-year study of the interactions of Monarch caterpillars with Chalcid pupal parasitoids that nearly wipe out late summer pupating Monarchs in Ontario.