As a result of a long co-evolution with their host plant and with predators and parasitoids, phytophagous insects and mites have developed similar life strategies and life history traits. Some of these athropods (particularly Aphids and Tetranychids) may be characterised by common demographic features such as the rapidity of their population growth and biological peculiarities such as parthenogenetic reproduction. They also exhibit complex chemical relationships with their environments. The third tropic level (parasitoids or predators) represents an important component of phytophagous population regulation. Moreover, environment conditions such as winter cold exert a strong selection pressure on these systems.
Lead by Thierry Hance, the lab of “Ecology of interactions and biological control” is devoted to research projects that combine basic ecology (physiological, behavioural and social ecology) and applied ecology (mainly biological control of agricultural pests).
With 20 members (lab technicians, PhD students, Researchers), our team is supported by funding from F.R.S-FNRS, la DGTRE (Région Wallone), la DGA (Région Wallone), la politique scientifique fédérale, la Coopération Technique Belge, L’UCL.