Submission Date


Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access



Second Department



Cory Straub

Second Adviser

Eric M. Takyi

Committee Member

Colleen Bove

Department Chair

Dale Cameron

Department Chair

Nicholas Scoville

Project Description

Aphids are a major insect pest, damaging crops worldwide. One sustainable and safe method of pest suppression is through biological control, the use of a natural predator to minimize the pest population. This project explores the effects of prey refuge and increased parasitoid longevity on the parasitoid-host interactions of the parasitoid wasp, Aphidius ervi, and the pea aphid host, Acyrthosiphon pisum. We collect data through laboratory experimentation with different levels of prey refuge and parasitoid longevity. We use a stage-structured system of ordinary differential equations to mathematically model this relationship and explore simulated long-term population dynamics. Generalized linear models will be utilized to statistically evaluate the model fit. We conclude by exploring the consequences and applications of our preliminary results.