Fellowship for Ellie McCabe: Facilitative And Competitive Interactions Between Two Invasive Pests, Drosophila Suzukii and Zaprionus Indianus

Grants and Contracts Details


This predoctoral research application address interactions between two recent invasive insect species that are economically important fruit pests. This research fits in with the AFRI priority area of Plant Health and Production of Plant Products. The PD is Eleanor McCabe, PhD candidate. Her mentor is Dr. Nick Teets, Associate Professor at University of Kentucky. This research will examine a core tenant of invasive species biology, invasion meltdown, by examining the relationship of invasive flies Drosophila suzukii and Zaprionus indianus, which can have both facilitative and competitive interactions. The precise relationship between these species could have significant impacts on population dynamics and economic damage from these species. While D, suzukii has been thoroughly studied in recent years, the pest dynamics of Z. indanus are poorly studied, and there is an urgent need to address the biology and impacts of this species in high value fruit crops. The specific objectives of my project are: 1. Determine the extent that Z. indianus relies on D. suzukii to infest small berry crops. 2. Identify environmental factors that affect competition between D. suzukii and Z. indianus. 3. To determine how the presence of both D. suzukii and Z. indianus in a cropping system affects the quality and marketability of crops. Understanding the nature of these relationships will yield important insights that will inform current control practices and future invasions. This project will also give the PD, Eleanor McCabe, the opportunity to learn research, extension, and mentoring techniques.
Effective start/end date6/1/235/31/26


  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture: $180,000.00


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