Project properties

Title Host location by hyperparasitoids
Group Entomology, Laboratory of
Project type thesis
Credits 24-36
Supervisor(s) Erik Poelman
Examiner(s) Marcel Dicke
Contact info
Begin date 2015/11/01
End date 2020/12/31
Description We found that hyperparsitoids, the fourth trophic level enemies of parasitoids, find their host (larvae or pupae of parasitoids) by using herbivore induced plant volatiles (HIPVs). The HIPVs of plants damaged by parasitized and unparasitized caterpillars differ and can be used by at least one species of hyperparasitoid as reliable cue to locate its host. However, this is only a single example and its unknown whether hyperparasitoids associated with other caterpillars or aphid parasitoid communities respond to HIPVs. Many fundamental questions in host location of hyperparasitoids are unexplored: i) can they discriminate host and non-host parasitized caterpillars, ii) can parasitized herbivores be found when feeding alongside other unparasitized herbivores of the same or different species. In a thesis you could explore your own question along this theme either in the field or in the laboratory.
Used skills Behavioural ecology, potentially combined with chemical ecology (measuring plant volatiles) or molecular ecology (measure gene expression in plants or herbivores).
Requirements For doing a BSc-thesis at Entomology, there are no requirements for specific courses.
For doing a MSc-thesis or internship at Entomology, the following requirements apply: ENT-30806 + a second ENT-course (preferably ENT-30306 or ENT-50806 or ENT-53806). As an alternative for the second ENT-course, PHP-30806 or BHE-30306 can be selected.
Note: these requirements do not apply for MBI students; MBI students should check the requirements for doing an ENT MSc-thesis or internship in the study programme of their specialisation.