Alexandra Revynthi


My name is Alexandra Revynthi and I am in the second year of my PhD in the Population Biology group at the University of Amsterdam. My research is focused on dispersal strategies of the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis. Dispersal is a key process in ecology of predator-prey metapopulations. It influences persistence, distribution and abundance of populations and also affects gene flow. We can distinguish two dispersal strategies, the Killer strategy (“Killers”), in which the predators start dispersing only after prey elimination and the Milker strategy (“Milkers”), in which the predators start dispersing before prey elimination. In both strategies, overexploitation of the prey will take place, but the predators that show the Milker strategy will need more time to achieve this. Milkers have a longer interaction period, which leads to longer exposure to subsequent predator invasions. Such invaders may exploit the patch in their own interest as Killers, which in turn selects against Milkers. However, more isolated sites favor the evolution of Milkers, because there is a lower probability of co-invasion of Milkers and Killers in the same local prey population. I am interested in finding predators that show the Milker strategy. So far I have sampled populations in Turkey and Italy (Sicily) and the quest is still continued.