Global Food Initiative
GFI Fellow - Class of 2015
Undergraduate Student, Mechanical Engineering
Sustainable Agriculture in Central Valley Food Crops
I am working with Andrea Joyce in public health and the Sierra Nevada Research Institute at UC Merced to research pheromones as an alternative to pesticide use for insects called leaffooted bugs, Leptoglossus species. We will run behavioral trials using adult insects to determine whether they are attracted to odors of males, females or groups of insects. These trials will take place in a low-velocity wind tunnel that simulates field conditions.
The goal of the research is to determine the importance of insect pheromones in mate finding and aggregation, to determine whether pheromones or pheromone traps might be used to control these insects as an alternative to insecticides. This semester, we focused on constructing the experimental apparatus, a low-velocity wind tunnel. The wind tunnel is completed, and behavioral trials will be conducted this summer.
With the experimental apparatus completed, behavioral trials may begin this summer.