916030 Chemical ecology of insects and applications in pest management

Semester hours
Lecturer (assistant)
Allison, Jeremy
Offered in
Sommersemester 2022
Languages of instruction


1) Introduction to Integrated Pest Management (IPM) - combination of lecture to introduce main concepts/ ideas and then discuss a paper (or two) that presents IPM in action

2) Introduction to chemical ecology - definition of chemical ecology; important chemical
parameters to be considered (e.g., stereochemistry, blends, concentrations); structure and function of peripheral nervous system and integration of messages within the central nervous system; chemical, physiological and behavioral techniques used in chemical ecology

3) IPM and chemical ecology - develop the impetus for the development of the discipline (green revolution and chemical insecticides, then “Silent Spring” provides impetus and motivates funding for alternatives, impetus for development of discipline of chemical ecology is the promise of biorational alternatives for IPM).
How can chemical ecology contribute to IPM - direct and indirect tactics; reading of slow the spread program for gypsy moth to provide examples of chemical ecology contributing direct and indirect tactics for IPM

4) Sampling and chemical ecology - chemicals mediate how organisms perceive the world around them and locate resources; How do we exploit this? Examples with pheromones, kairomones, synomones (attractants, repellents)

5) Optomotor anemotaxis – introduction and concept

6) Trap active space and performance- introduction; how insect interact with trap and % capture and retention all contributing to the performance of sampling programs; discussion of readings

7) How to optimize trap active space - lure development and optimization (examples); trap development and optimization (examples); trap deployment protocol (examples)
Direct tactics - Mass Trapping; Attract and Kill; Mating Disruption (and discuss examples)

8) Chemical ecology and biological control - overview of ideas.
Risk assessment and then program pptimization.
Discussion of readings.

Previous knowledge expected

Basics in general ecology and entomology and chemistry would be good.

Objective (expected results of study and acquired competences)

As a result of this course students should be able to:

- discuss the role of chemical cues and signals in mediating intra- and inter-specific interactions

- understand how these chemical cues and signals can contribute to IPM

- apply the principles of chemical ecology to the development of IPM tactics (direct and indirect) including survey and detection, mass trapping, mating disruption, attract and kill

- apply concepts discussed to the development of biological control programs, in particular the decision to release agents and how chemical ecology can be used to optimize biological control programs
You can find more details like the schedule or information about exams on the course-page in BOKUonline.