About the project
Our project aims at investigating if and how symbiotic microbial communities influence insect invasiveness.
This project will bring together a range of ecological and molecular skills, the use of cutting-edge techniques and a unique and novel collaborative approach to investigate the potential key role of microbiome in the invasion success of phytophagous insects.
The study will be facilitated through a newly established UNESCO UNITWIN network that links institutions in New Zealand (Unitec Institute of Technology and Massey University) with those in the South Pacific (University of the South Pacific, and the National University of Samoa).
Results will have important implications in the improvement of pest control programs and in the prediction and prevention of the impacts of newly introduced phytophagous insects in New Zealand and in the Pacific Islands.
Phase 1: Screening for optimal species model in the Pacific region to test invasion ecology hypotheses
Phase 2: Database release
Phase 3: Molecular investigation of the role of symbionts in the invasion success of phytophagous insects