Gord Ayre

Gordon Ayre was the researcher I spent the most time with. He was another transfer from Belleville. He had done his Master's on ants (I believe in Germany), and I believe ants were his first insect love. He didn't talk much about it thougth - he was sparse with his words, and did not offer up too much information. He was a smallish man (5'6?) with brownish skin and had a trimmed beard but no mustache. He always brought a cheese sandwich to work and ate it in the middle of the morning.

He did not seem bitter as some of the researchers did, nor overly enthusiastic. However, his work was methodical, and I liked working for him, and I liked him. We did a lot of work with pheromones, which is where I gained some of my skill in identifying moths. His results seemed to cause some consternation with the folks who developed the pheromones. One of he papers showed that the catch of a specific moth was not a predictor of the next season's crop of cutworms. He had a hard time getting that paper published, as the pheromone folks kept shooting it down. Again, he didn't seem too perturbed, but merely submitted it to other journals until it was accepted. I was not kept informed of such dealings, but picked up the context from the few conversations we had.

Gord had a large fish tank in his office - 3mX1m?. Inside were two (I believe) large Oscars (Astronotus ocellatus) . I seem to recall a few large blackish fish that fed on the sides or the bottom. Every now and then he would drain the tank (almost an all day process). He also did woodworking at home, although I can's say I saw any of it.

Most of the work was left to me and Robert Semple, an ex military man who had retired young and re-upped with Ag Can. His hair was curly grey, and he had the habit of taking his glasses off to look closely at specimens. I thought it was odd, but I do the same thing myself now!
His obituary can be found here - https://esc-sec.ca/wp/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Bulletin-volume28-number4-Dec1996.pdf, pp152-53

Posted by mamestraconfigurata mamestraconfigurata, May 13, 2019 16:51

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