My name is Yiyang Wu and I was born in Zhengzhou, Henan, China. I completed my Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Alberta with a specialization in Animal Biology, and I started my MSc degree in Winter 2022. For the past five years, I’ve lived in Edmonton with my roommates and our cats. In my spare time, I like going on walks with my cats, listening to music, and designing illustrations.

Through my undergraduate studies, I mastered many professional skills in biology, such as animal dissection, fossils identification and bacteria, fungi, and insect cultivation, as well as some genomic skills. I joined three research projects. One of them which was done in the Evenden Lab allowed me to work on the dispersal of Pterostichus melanarius (Coleoptera: Carabidae) (Illiger, 1978) in pulse crops in Alberta based on the wing dimorphism and sexes. In this project, I have identified over 15,000 insects to species, sexed, and determined the wing dimorphism of 6767 P. melanarius individuals, learned to build different kinds of insect traps, and had opportunities to practice critical thinking. During the process I realized that not all invasive species are necessarily harmful to our local insect ecology. Aware of this, I now have a better understanding of insect biology and ecology.

I came to the Evenden lab to further integrate chemical ecology and the respirometer into my research with a wonderful team! My MSc project focuses on investigating mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins, Coleoptera: Curculionidae) and their eastern spread risk on beetle physiology and behavior as drivers of the spread. The mountain pine beetle is one of the most destructive pest insect species in North America. This destructive bark beetle is classified as an outbreak forest insect, with populations ranging from endemic to epidemic levels depending on forest susceptibility and climatic factors. Thus, understanding how MPB flight capacity and metabolism are affected by overwintering temperature is crucial for forecasting future outbreaks. By giving new insights into metabolic-driving population dynamics based on MPB fight capacity in novel habitats, my research will help to better estimate the potential of their eastern expansion. My findings can be applied to other large-scale insect pest outbreaks.

You are welcome to contact me at for further details about me and my research!