Project properties

Title A hitch-hikers guide to egg parasitism
Group Biosystematics Group
Project type thesis
Credits 24-36
Supervisor(s) Dr. Nina Fatouros
Examiner(s) Dr. Nina Fatouros, Dr. Freek Bakker
Contact info
Begin date 2020/12/01
End date 2024/08/31
Description Minute hymenopteran wasps of the genus Trichogramma parasitise eggs of butterflies and moth. They are the most widely used biological control agents worldwide. However, their phylogeny, dispersal behavior, and parasitism capacities in nature are still understudied. You will be collecting Trichogramma wasps emerging from eggs as well as hitchhiking on butterflies from different host species, host plants, and from different locations in the Netherlands. After you collected the ecological data, you will try to identify the species you collected by barcoding them. You can use the barcoding sequences (ITS2/ CO1) to also answer questions on their relatedness by making phylogenetic trees. Furthermore, you will test, whether closely related species are ecologically more similar than would be expected at random.
Used skills Field work, bar coding, bioinformatics, tree building software
Requirements Participation in courses like Ecological Aspects of Bio-interactions, Plant-insect interactions, Comparative Biology and Systematics