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Dr. Désirée Vanderwel

Désirée Vanderwel Title: Associate Professor
Phone: 204.789.1483
Office: 2RC028 - Lab: 3RC033, 3RC031
Building: Richardson College for the Environment and Science Complex
Email: d.vanderwel@uwinnipeg.ca


Ph.D.  Simon Fraser University, Chemistry, 1991
B.Sc.  University of Victoria, Biochemisty (Honours), 1981


Dr. Désirée Vanderwel earned her PhD in chemistry from Simon Fraser University studying the biosynthesis of pheromones in grain and bark beetles. She also spent one year as a postdoctoral biochemistry researcher at the University of Nevada-Reno, studying pheromone biosynthesis in houseflies.

In 1991, she joined the Department of Chemistry at The University of Winnipeg, where she teaches organic chemistry and biochemistry to undergraduates, and is involved in studying communication in insects, especially grain insects.

Outstanding Manitoba Chemist of the Year



CHEM 1112/3 Basic Chemical Reactivity
CHEM 2202/3 Organic Chemistry I
CHEM 2502/3 Introduction to Biochemistry
CHEM 2503/3 Principals in Biochemistry
CHEM 3502/3 Intermediate Biochemistry I
CHEM 3503/3 Intermediate Biochemistry II
CHEM 4502/3 Molecular Enzymology
CHEM 4701/6 Research Projects in Chemistry


Research Interests:

PHEROMONE BIOSYNTHESIS - Dr. Vanderwel's long-term goal is to understand the biochemistry of pheromone production in a model beetle species, Tenebrio molitor (the yellow mealworm beetle), in the context of the biology of the organism and its interaction with its environment.

Beetles effect a staggering economic and social impact on humankind through the destruction of field crops, stored products and forests. Conversely, many beetles are beneficial as predators of insect pests. Knowledge gained in the quest to understand coleopteran biochemistry could be exploited to control pest species, or aid in the management of beneficial species.

Research Gate