Rosali Smith

Entomology Doctoral Candidate

Office: F08, First Floor, Life Sciences Building

MSc, Entomology, Rhodes University (2017)

Thesis title: The biological control of Egeria densa Planchon (Hydrocharitaceae) in South Africa

Supervisors: Prof Martin Hill and Prof Julie Coetzee

Rosali’s PhD focuses on the further development of the biocontrol programme against the submerged aquatic weed Egeria densa Planch (Hydrocharitaceae) following approval to release the leaf-mining fly, Hydrellia egeriae Rodrigues (Diptera: Ephydridae). This includes aspects of efficient mass-rearing and release protocols and evaluating the establishment and performance of the biocontrol agent in the field. The response of E. densa stands to agent feeding and the potential change in aquatic plant composition is also monitored. Native parasitoids that expand their host range may affect the performance of the biocontrol agent, and is thus evaluated. Because temperature fulfils a vital role in the biology of insects, the temperature tolerances (critical and lethal maximum and minimum) of the fly are explored. In addition, the long-term outcome of the biocontrol programme is considered by evaluating the effect elevated CO2 on the target weed and its biocontrol agent.

Last Modified: Wed, 10 Apr 2019 10:07:22 SAST