The Ohio State University’s summer acarology course, which is internationally regarded as the premier acarology course, is a tremendous boon to my capability to perform this research…
As a result of funding provided by Taylor & Francis Group, The International Journal of Acarology has awarded Mathew Manwaring an IJA Fellowship worth $900. Mathew is a PhD student at University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia and is interested in mesostigmatid mites as predators of nematodes in sugar cane fields. The fellowship will enable him to attend the Soil Acarology workshop at Ohio State University.
I am researching the ecology and systematics of predatory mites in agro-ecosystems. Mites are ubiquitous in most soil and they perform critical ecosystem services including decomposition, nutrient cycling and controlling populations of micro and meso-fauna. However, our understanding of their ecology and conditions that best accommodate them are relatively unknown, especially in agricultural systems. For example, plant parasitic nematodes cost the sugarcane industry $80 million a year in Australia alone and these are consumed by predatory Mesostigmata, but the ecology of the Mesostigmata is unknown. Furthermore, the ability of many predatory mites to consume pests and the environmental factors that impact upon them is also unknown.
Therefore, my research will focus on the capacity of the most abundant predatory mites of sugarcane soils to consume plant parasitic nematodes. Testing will be done under different conditions to determine which factors most influence mite community abundance and assemblage. The Ohio State University’s summer acarology course, which is internationally regarded as the premier acarology course, is a tremendous boon to my capability to perform this research. However, without the generous support of the Taylor & Francis Group, I would be unable to attend this amazing workshop. I would like to thank those members of the Taylor & Francis Group that have made this possible.
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