Environmental risk assessment
Evaluation of the impact of the introduction of exotic species, biological control agents and GM plants on the functions of agricultural ecosystems.
The development of biopesticides involves studies of living organisms, especially fungi, bacteria and viruses for the control of pests, such as isolation and selection of pathogens for specific targets, identification, characterization and maintenance and multiplication methods, in order to generate biological products.
Invertebrate and microorganism ecology
The studies on ecology of invertebrates and microorganisms focusses on population dynamics, phenology, communities and interactions between different species in agricultural ecosystems and the physical environment, modeling the dispersal and distribution of species. Ecosystem services assessment for pollination and biological control.
Chemical and molecular ecology applied to agriculture
The studies on chemical ecology applied to agriculture focus on the interactions between living organisms mediated by chemicals, and develop tools for the management and control of pests and pathogens based on secondary metabolites of plants and semiochemicals of insects and other organisms, including using molecular tools.
Microbial genetics and molecular biology
The genetic and molecular biology studies are aimed at understanding the structure and function of genes, and determining inheritance patterns, taxonomic identification, variability and mechanisms of action of microorganisms used to control pests.
Plant resistance to nematodes and management techniques
The studies involve the taxonomy and enzymatic and molecular characterization of the genus Meloidogyne, as well as management studies of this pathogen, especially towards plant genetic resistance and crop rotation systems.
Systematic, genetic and functional characterization of pests and natural enemies
The studies are conducted in order to understand and identify the relationships between pest species and different natural enemies that interact with them in various agricultural ecosystems.