Over the last 15 years I have been working on the ecology, conservation and management of arthropods in agricultural landscapes with the aim to design of multifunctional agricultural landscapes that promote natural biocontrol and pollination. I use a combination of experimentation and (spatially-explicit) modelling to study the interactions and the spatial ecology of plants, pests, natural enemies and pollinators. I work with national and international scientists from different disciplines, including agroecology, agronomy, social science and entomology. To foster on-the-ground impact and enable mutual learning I interact with stakeholders via participatory approaches and farmer field schools. Current research activities are ongoing in The Netherlands, Ethiopia, China, Brazil, Cambodia and Vietnam. Photo credit: Yavanna Aartsma.
I have three main research lines:
- Resource ecology: the functionality of plant species to support pollinators and natural enemies in terms of resource provision (e.g. nectar)
- Disturbance ecology: the interactions between biocontrol and chemical pesticide applications
- Chemical ecology: the chemical interaction among plants, herbivores and their natural enemies via (herbivore-induced) plant volatiles
These research lines allow me contribute to the transition towards more sustainable pest management and the design of pest suppressive landscapes.