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University of Reading Featured PhD Programmes

The biological control of insect pests using predators and parasitoids

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About This PhD Project

Project Description

This project will focus on building an understanding of the behavioural and physiological interactions of insect pests and their natural enemies, and using this to develop better approaches to insect pest management in the field. In particular, we will develop an understanding of how host choice behaviour and learning interact with environmental variables to affect the outcome of successful biological control. There is no fixed model system for this project; the successful student will develop and choose a pest species to work on which is of interest and relevance to them. The project will utilise a mix of laboratory and field studies and can be carried out in Reading or abroad, again depending on the student’s interests.

References

Relevant recent publications:

Smith, L.S., Broyles, M.E.J., Larzleer, H.K. & Fellowes, M.D.E. 2014 Adding ecological value to the urban lawnscape: insect abundance and diversity in grass-free lawns. Biodiversity and Conservation, in press.

Orros, M.E., Thomas, R.L., Holloway, G.J. & Fellowes, M.D.E. 2014 Supplementary feeding of wild birds indirectly affects ground beetle populations in suburban gardens. Urban Ecosystems in press.

Campbell, H., Townsend, I., Fellowes, M.D.E. & Cook, J.M. 2013 Thorn-dwelling ants provide antiherbivore defence for camelthorn trees, Vachellia erioloba, in Namibia. African Journal of Ecology 51, 590-598.

Campbell, H., Fellowes, M.D.E. & Cook, J.M. 2013 Arboreal thorn-dwelling ants coexisting on the savannah ant-plant, Vachellia erioloba, use domatia morphology to select nest sites. Insectes Socieaux 60, 373-382.

Orros, M.E. & Fellowes, M.D.E. 2012 Supplementary feeding of wild birds indirectly affects the local abundance of arthropod prey. Basic and Applied Ecology 13, 286-293.

Hazell, S.P. and Fellowes, M.D.E. 2009 Intra-specific variation affects the structure of the natural enemy assemblage attacking pea aphid colonies. Ecological Entomology 34, 34-42.

Hazell, S.P., Vel, T. & Fellowes, M.D.E. 2008 The role of exotic plants in the invasion of Seychelles by the polyphagous insect Aleurodicus disperses: a phylogenetically controlled analysis. Biological Invasions 10, 169-175.

Libbrecht, R, Gwynn, D.M. & Fellowes, M.D.E. 2007 Aphidius ervi preferentially attacks the green morph of the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum. Journal of Insect Behavior 20, 25-32.

Hazell, S.P., McClintock, I.A.D. & Fellowes, M.D.E. 2006 Intraspecific heritable variation in life-history traits can alter the outcome of interspecific competition among insect herbivores. Basic and Applied Ecology 7, 215-223.

Gwynn, D.M., Callaghan, A., Gorham, J., Walters, K.F.A. & Fellowes, M.D.E. 2005 Resistance is costly: trade-offs between immunity, fecundity and survival in the pea aphid. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B 272, 1803-1808.

Hazell, S.P., Wenlock, C., Bachel, S. & Fellowes, M.D.E. 2005 The costs and consequences of parasitoid attack for the predatory hoverfly, Episyrphus balteatus. Evolutionary Ecology Research 7, 669-679.

Hazell, S.P., Gwynn, D.M., Ceccarelli, S. & Fellowes, M.D.E. 2005 Competition and dispersal in the pea aphid: clonal variation and correlations across traits. Ecological Entomology 30, 293-298.

Müller, C.B., Fellowes, M.D.E. & Godfray, H.C.J. 2005 Relative importance of fertilizer addition and exclusion of predators for aphid growth in the field. Oecologia 139, 419-427.

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