The title of my PhD project is “Searching for food in complex environments: Integrating processes at multiple spatial scales”. The overall aim of the project is to develop theory on the responses of consumer insects to mixed resource patches. In particular, the importance of physiological and behavioral processes induced by olfactory cues in insects will be studied.
The first goal of the project is to conduct laboratory experiments using Drosophila melanogaster for parameterizing and testing associational effects of food resources under controlled conditions.
The second goal is to explore the importance of associational effects of food resources natural ecosystems. For this purpose a tri-tropic system with herbivores (Galerucella spp.) and parasitoids (Asecodes spp.) searching for multiple hosts will be used.