Proyecto de máster de 6 meses estudiando bioacústica en Nueva Caledonia ~

6 de noviembre de 2023

Proyecto de máster de 6 meses estudiando bioacústica en Nueva Caledonia

The Ecological Pest Management Group at the New Zealand Plant and Food Research (PFR) in collaboration with the Institut Agronomique néo-Calédonien (IAC), Équipe ARBOREAL AgricultuRe BiOdiveRsite Et vALorisation, Laboratoire d’Entomologie Appliquée is carrying out research on new ways to control invasive insect species in crops and orchards.

Several order of insects, such as lepidopterans (particularly from the Pyralidae, Noctuidae and Geometridae families), orthopterans and coleopterans, can hear bats ultrasounds and have developed anti-predatory behaviours to escape predation. Ultrasounds at frequencies coinciding with the calls of hunting bats have been shown to disrupt the mating behaviour and reproduction of those hearing moths. Thus, bat ultrasounds could be used as a novel non-chemical tool for pest control.

In this project, the student will carry out laboratory and field experiments to observe and measure the behaviour of the fruit piercing moth (Eudocima phalonia, Erebidae) in response to ultrasounds. The student will collect wild moths in the field and set up a small lab colony with the help of the local technical team. In the laboratory, the student will fly moths in the wind tunnel and measure changes in behaviour in response to ultrasound when exposed to odours (e.g. different frequencies and amplitude ranges). Finally, the student will assess the impact of ultrasounds speakers deployed in the field by assessing fruit damage caused by the fruit piercing moth. The data generated by this project will provide the basis for at least one publication.

The student will be supervised locally by Dr Christian Mille at IAC-New Caledonia and distantly by the New Zealand collaborators and primary investigators of the project Dr Flore Mas and Dr Adriana Najar-Rodriguez from PFR.
Date of start: January- June (6 months)
Location: IAC, Institut Agronomique néo-Calédonien, Station de Recherches Fruitières de Pocquereux, BP 32, 98880 La Foa, Nouvelle-Calédonie
Salary: Minimum wage (625 euros/month) and free on-site accommodation will be offered. Air tickets to get to New Caledonia are not included.
Requirement: Eligibility to work in New Caledonia (European passport or any other passport not requiring a visa to New Caledonia). Driver’s license needed.
Conditions: Students currently enrolled in a University (Master 2 level) or last year of Engineering school with a background in biology, entomology, bioacoustics or pest management would be preferred. Previous experience on insect behaviour or bioacoustics preferable. Knowledge in statistics and skills in sound analysis would also be advantageous. Abilities to work meticulously in the laboratory and in the field under dark condition (nocturnal moth). Independent and organized. Fluent in French and good speaking & writing English skills. Need to communicate regularly with the international supervisory team. An English report will be required at the end.
Please send a detailed CV with courses attended and relevant experiences, as well as a letter of motivation and two referees contacts to:;;

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