Bio-control of insect pests by microencapsulation of semiochemicals and entomopathogenic fungi


Description:Strategies of disease and pest control are mainly limited to the use of pesticides, in spite of the environmental and human health problems related to their use. The use of microbial bio-control agents or natural molecules is an integral part of an IPM approach. However, the formulation of bio-control agents is a crucial step for field applications: The product must, in addition to its competitive price, be effective on the targeted and harmless organism on the auxiliaries, be able to be stored for periods adapted to market needs and be adapted to agricultural machinery. This project aims to develop an eco-innovative product based on the encapsulation of strains of entomopathogenic fungi and molecules that are attractive to pest insects. This project is conducted by two laboratories with complementary expertise: the mycology laboratory of the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium) and the functional and evolutionary entomology laboratory of the University of Liège. The company MEDINBIO, industrial partner of the project, will also be involved in the project.

Host laboratory and role to play: The selected candidate will integrate the functional and evolutionary entomology laboratory at the University of Liège, located on the Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech Campus (Gembloux, Belgium). He / she will be integrated in a multidisciplinary team and will be in charge of identifying the attractant molecules for the target insects, to incorporate them in the “microbeads” matrices and to validate their biological activity. The selected candidate will also carry out insecticide efficacy testing of the entomopathogenic strains.

Your profile:

  • Have a master’s degree in biology or agricultural sciences
  • Experience in data statistical analysis
  • Knowledge of Scientific English (oral / written)
  • Willing to complete a PhD thesis

Commitment period: The commitment period is 48 months, from February 1st, 2019 to January 31st, 2023. During this period, the candidate will follow a doctoral training, which will lead him/her to the title of doctor in agronomic sciences and biological engineering. The net monthly salary is about 2,000 euros, depending on the situation of the candidate.

Application: To apply, send you CV and cover letter electronically to Prof François Verheggen ( no later than 22 December 2018.