Sandrine Fattore

Master in Biogeosciences

Research project

My research project focuses on belowground plant-insect-predator interactions, more specifically interactions between maize, herbivorous insects and entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN) as natural predators. Herbivore-induced release of natural enemy attractants has been identified in maize and EPN have proved to be effective biocontrol agents against insect pests of crops.

This study is dedicated to broadening the understanding of tritrophic interactions by investigating how endogeic earthworm activity may play a role in this specific tritrophic system.

In other words, how does earthworm activity affect maize indirect defence to reduce root-feeding herbivores? The project is divided into three lines of research :

1) Does earthworm activity near plant rhizosphere stimulate plant defence response to herbivory?

2) Does bulk soil bioturbation by earthworms affect the efficiency of the chemical pathway involved between herbivore-damaged maize roots and EPN?

3) Do earthworms and cropping system influence interactively tritrophic interactions?

Main topics

  • Plant indirect defense strategy
  • Belowground tritrophic interactions
  • Entomopathogenic nematodes
  • Biological pest control

Illustration TM Sandrine.png

Sandrine Fattore



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