Alice Pessina

Master in Biology

Research interests 

I am a biology student in conservation biology at the University of Neuchâtel. I always had a strong interest in the study of invasive species: their interaction with natural communities, their impact on biodiversity and their management. For these reasons, I decided to realize my master's thesis, in collaboration with the CABI, on the biological control of the invasive weed Myriophyllum aquaticum in North America.

Master thesis 

Native to South America, parrot’s feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum) is a macrophyte that has rapidly invaded other regions. Outside its native range and in the absence of natural enemies, this plant forms dense mats in aquatic ecosystems, negatively impacting the environment and human activities.

Given the invasion into sensitive habitats, biological control may offer a safer and suitable solution for its management. It has been reported that the weevil Phytobius vestitus uses parrot’s feather as its main host in North America, and thus this weevil could be used as a biological control agent in the invaded range. Therefore, the objective of my study is to understand the host-finding behavior of P. vestitus as a first step for its potential use as a biological control agent for parrot's feather management. 

Alice Pessina



+41 32 718 23 18