My research area is biological control and the ecology and evolutionary
biology of parasitoids and predators.
One aspect of my research involves
trying to understand how interspecific interactions influence biological
control. We are currently studying competition and hyperparasitism in
whitefly parasitoids in order to determine whether these interactions may
lead to reduced pest suppression.
The parasitoids that are my current focus
are autoparasitoids; females develop as primary parasitoids of whiteflies,
while males develop as hyperparasitoids, developing either on females of
their own species or on other primary parasitoids. The sex-specific host
relationships of these animals force one to adopt a different perspective
on such topics as sex allocation, host selection behavior and
parasitoid-host population dynamics.
I am also interested in the effects of
selfish genetic elements such as parthenogenesis-inducing bacteria on the
behavior and life history of these parasitoids.