MSc Entomology candidate
Office: S11, Second Floor, Life Science Building
BSc, Entomology and Geography, Rhodes University (2017)
BSc (Hons), Entomology, Rhodes University (2018)
Thesis title: Biological control of Cylindropuntia pallida (Pink-flowered cholla)
Supervisors: Dr Iain Paterson
Ekhona is a Grahamstownian who was introduced to Entomology during his Secondary school days through the Zoology and Entomology Department’s internship program for High school learners. From there he gained a love for biological control and decided to follow this study path in University.
His passion for biological control led him to do his third-year project on “The impact of the predatory beetle, Chilocorus nigrita (Coccinellidae), predation on the mass-rearing of biological control agent populations for the alien invasive cactus species Opuntia stricta and Opuntia monacantha (Cactaceae).” During his Honours year, 2018, he did a project on the biological control of Myrtillocactus geometrizans which is an emerging alien invasive species in South Africa.
He is currently working on the biological control of Cylindropuntia pallida another emerging alien species in the country for his MSc thesis. The aim of the project is to find an effectively damaging and host-specific biological control agent for the alien species. He will look at different lineages of Dactylopius tomentosus—some of these have been used in South Africa and Australia to control related cacti species—to find the suitable one.
Last Modified: Thu, 19 Sep 2019 11:11:22 SAST