Project properties

Title Conservation Biological Control of a Coffee pest
Group Entomology, Laboratory of
Project type thesis
Credits 36
Supervisor(s) Natalia Moreno Ramirez
Felix Bianchi
Marcel Dicke
Examiner(s) Marcel Dicke
Contact info natalia.morenoramirez@wur.nl
felix.bianchi@wur.nl
marcel.dicke@wur.nl
Begin date 2022/08/01
End date 2023/08/01
Description The worldwide sustainability of coffee production is threatened by pests, diseases, and global warming. In Colombia, the Coffee Berry Borer (CBB) is a major pest problem. This beetle reduces crop yield and quality by drilling the coffee berries and feeding on the beans during the beetleā€™s immature stages.

A promising yet understudied approach to CBB control is conservation biological control, defined as the regulation of pest populations by supporting local natural enemies. In this case, insects!

Through this MSc thesis/internship you will:
1. Characterize and compare the diversity and abundance of potential CBB natural enemies in Organic, IPM, and Conventional coffee farms.
2. Assess the effects of the surrounding vegetation and farming practices on: (1) the pest population dynamics, and (2) the community of natural enemies.

You had plenty of opportunities to explore your own ideas. Initiative is welcome!

This project requires travelling, visiting farms, field and laboratory work. Contact with farmers and local researchers will occurs in a daily basis, so there are opportunities to learn Spanish and improve your communication skills.

To cover your living expenses and flight tickets, you can apply for the Erasmus+ grant (https://www.wur.nl/en/Education-Programmes/Study-Abroad-and-Exchange-Students/Outgoing-from-Wageningen-University/Erasmus-grant.htm)
Used skills Literature review, data analysis, presentation skills, and report writing. Field (e.g., arthropod sampling, field assessments of infestations) and laboratory work skills (e.g., processing samples collected from the field).
Requirements 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)