ECOLIVES Meeting in Évora

On the 16th of December 2016, five members of the EnvMetaGen team (Pedro Beja, Simon Jarman, Sónia Ferreira and the newly arrived Bastian Egeter and Joana Paupério) participated in the first ECOLIVES project meeting in Évora. We are starting strong on collaborations with other groups in Portugal, in order to bring the benefits of metagenomic analysis to relevant projects.

The ECOLIVES project uses Mediterranean olive farms as case study and is led by Dr. José M. Herrera currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at Estación Biológica de Doñana – EBD-CSIC (previously Postdoctoral Researcher at University of Évora, where the project is based). The overarching research goal of this project is to estimate the value of natural biological control of the Olive fruit fly (Bactrocera oleae) and the Olive fruit moth (Prays oleae) ‒ the two major pests in olive farms worldwide‒, in farms following distinct pest management strategies. Specifically, the project will focus on predatory insects (parasitoid wasps) as well as insectivorous vertebrates (birds and bats) as biocontrol providers.

The EnvMetaGen team will participate on the development of molecular tools to identify prey items of key predators/parasitoids present in olive farms. During the morning session it was possible to visit a few Olive farms with distinct management characteristics and to identify and discuss some sampling challenges detected in loco. During the afternoon session the objectives and the methodology of the project were discussed. Special attention was given to the conditions of collection and preservation of samples for molecular analysis required to ensure the viability of the lab work. This meeting was the very first of the Round-Tables planned within the activities of WP6.


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