Modelling the temporal and spatial ecology of the oilseed rape pest Meligethes aeneus; implications for integrated pest mangement strategies

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Modelling the temporal and spatial ecology of the oilseed rape pest Meligethes aeneus; implications for integrated pest mangement strategies

The successful PhD applicant will explore archived samples and field data to develop regression-based models that will elucidate pollen beetle migration and incidence in oilseed rape (OSR). Pollen beetles migrate into OSR crops over a prolonged period and current monitoring methods are insufficient to enable growers to easily determine when insecticide treatments are needed. We hypothesise that through an analysis of long term biological and meteorological data, and together with laboratory and field experiments, new mechanisms can be discovered that will lead to better control of the pest. This project will deliver migration forecasts to synchronise insecticide applications to the arrival of the pollen beetles in OSR crops in order to prevent overuse and support integrated pest management strategies. This is a joint DTP between Rothamsted Research and Reading University.

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