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BSc-MSc Thesis and Internship Projects, Wageningen University

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Roots crying for help?: harnessing root microbiome to help plants fight insect attack
Description: In agriculture, insect herbivory is one of the main biotic stresses that plants face because it represents around one-fifth of global crop yield losses. One sustainable alternative to fight insect pests can be to  ...
Supervisor: Marcela Aragon Gomez (PhD candidate) & Dr. Karen Kloth / Dr. Pedro Beschoren da Costa

Department: Entomology, Laboratory of
 
Effect of neighbouring plants on parasitoid foraging at different spatial scales
Predatory insects and parasitoid wasps can drastically reduce herbivore densities, which makes them important biocontrol agents, but this ecosystem service is threatened by the drastic decline in insect numbers. In order to mainta ...
Supervisor: Ilka Vosteen
Erik Poelman

Department: Entomology, Laboratory of
 
Field parasitism experiment: strawberries, aphids, wasps and endosymbionts.
Aim: To study whether a certain aphid endosymbiont protects the aphids against parasitoid wasps in the field. Aphids are problematic pests. Biological control of aphids is not always successful. One possible explanation of the  ...
Supervisor: Helena Donner
Department: Entomology, Laboratory of
 
Beware of hyper-parasitoids: plant and insect responses to parasitized herbivores.
Hyperparasitoids are major limiting factors in biological control. This is because they parasitize on insects which we use as biological control agents. Understanding the ecology of hyperparasitoids is crucial to develop measures  ...
Supervisor: Mitchel Bourne
Erik Poelman

Department: Entomology, Laboratory of
 
Giving the circular economy wings by feeding houseflies
The circular economy is based on the notion that the output of one system is input for the next. When we apply that to animal production systems, manure is one of the outputs for which the applications are limited, at least in a D ...
Supervisor: Dr. Dennis Oonincx (Animal Nutrition)
Prof. dr. Joop van Loon

Department: Entomology, Laboratory of
 
Investigating plant defence strategies to deal with multiherbivore attack
Plants interact with numerous attackers. The arrival of these attackers may be unpredictable in terms of the species identity, the moment in time and the order in which attack may take place. It is hypothesized that plants deal wi ...
Supervisor: Zoƫ Delamore, Erik Poelman
Department: Entomology, Laboratory of
 
Honeydew, a new route of insecticide exposure to beneficial insects (thesis or internship)
The use of insecticides is highly controversial in agriculture. Although insecticides are usually used against herbivorous pests, they may have important ecological side effects on non-target beneficial arthropods. In previous stu ...
Supervisor: Miguel Calvo Agudo & Alejandro Tena
Department: Entomology, Laboratory of
 
The potential of insect waste for control of the cabbage root fly
The cabbage root fly is a major pest of cabbage in Europe and North America. Its larvae feed on roots, causing direct damage and predisposing the crop to pathogens. As there are currently no reliable methods for managing this pest ...
Supervisor: Max Wantulla
Joop van Loon

Department: Entomology, Laboratory of
 
Tracking the house-entry flights of host-seeking malaria mosquitoes in Malawi, Africa
This study will examine the flight behaviour of the malaria vector, Anopheles gambiae, around houses in semi-field conditions in Malawi, Africa. Using a stereoscopic high-speed videography system, we will track three-dimensional f ...
Supervisor: Florian Muijres
Jeroen Spitzen
Robert McCann

Department: Entomology, Laboratory of
 
Crop diversity to boost bottom-up pest control - A greenhouse experiment on soil microbe-induced resistance to aphids in potato
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) can induce plant systemic resistance, and reduce yield loses caused by herbivores. Plant diversity has the potential to enhance AMF communities. Intercropping systems, where at least two crop pla ...
Supervisor: Laura Riggi, Karen Kloth
Department: Entomology, Laboratory of
 
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