In FuEDEI, we research and develop strategies to manage invasive species (plants and insects) to benefit natural, productive and urban systems.
We focus on biological control, a sustainable activity that requires low investment and has little environmental impact. The aim of our research is to contribute to the restoration of natural environments, preserve native biodiversity and to reduce the cost of conventional control measures (chemical/mechanical).
We carry out research in two main areas.
We develop research programs to create strategies for the management of invasive plants. To this end, we study the ecology, taxonomy and genetics of the plants, as well as their interaction with associated natural enemies (arthropods and pathogens). These studies allow us to broaden the knowledge on biological diversity, distribution of species and trophic associations in ecosystems.
We conduct research on pest insects and/or disease vectors of phytosanitary relevance in natural and productive environments. We search for natural enemies, study geographical distribution, taxonomy, phylogenetic relationships, ecology, physiology, damage assessment and herbivory patterns. These studies allow us to develop control programs that combine biological control, sexual disruption and gamma radiation techniques.
Biological control agents are organisms that are carefully selected to control invasive species exclusively. They do not harm or affect other species or the environment.