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Ecostacking: a new approach to crop protection

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NOVA PhD course series scheduled for 2019-2021. Each course in the series is of 3 ECTS.
Responsible for course series: Paul Egan, senior researcher, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

Course Description
In accordance with the NOVA values, mission and vision, the PhD-course series “Ecostacking: a new approach to crop protection” focuses on sustainable use of natural resources and food production in the Nordic countries. The series consists of three individual courses, to be offered during three consecutive years at different NOVA-institutions: “Ecostacking in theory and practise: a new approach to crop protection” (2019, Finland, University of Helsinki, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry), “Integrated Pest and Pollinator Management” (2020, Sweden, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences), and “The Nordic Dimension: Ecostacking in Arctic Agriculture” (2021, Iceland Agricultural University of Iceland). Thematically these courses address all major aspects of stacking ecosystem services in an additive or synergistic manner to maximise the benefits accruable from ecostacking.

The course contents cover the newest developments in the theory of pest management, role of different levels of biodiversity (within species genetic diversity in crop plants; vegetation diversity within the field; diversity at the agroecosystem level) in controlling pests, diseases and weeds, mechanisms of key interactions including plant signalling and chemical communication, population dynamics of pests, diseases and weeds, and integration of agronomic and management measures to optimize pest control outcome in an ecologically and economically sustainable manner.

Programme Outline
The course builds upon pre-campus required readings, assigned by the main teachers, and a written exercise with focus on one key aspect, which is then further developed during the course (50 h of independent work). The intensive course week contains lectures (15 h), seminars (10 h), and hands-on laboratory and/or field exercises (15 h).

Pre-/Post-Campus Assignments
Required readings, assigned by the main teachers, and a written exercise with focus on one key aspect, which is then further developed during the course.

Learning Outcomes
After taking these courses, the students will have knowledge at the most advanced frontier of ecological interactions determining the effects of biotic diversity on pest management and ecosystem services. They will acquire the most advanced and specialised skills and techniques in this area of research, including synthesis and evaluation, required to solve problems, to innovate, and to extend and redefine existing knowledge or professional practice of pest management and agricultural production systems. Students will be able to demonstrate substantial authority, innovation, autonomy, scholarly and professional integrity, and sustained commitment to the development of new ideas or processes at the forefront of work or study contexts, including research on integrated pest management.

Evaluation Elements
Oral exam at the end with focus on assessing the students' understanding of the key concepts, interactions, and techniques presented at the course.

Pedagogical Approach
Problem-based learning based on interactive processes including group work and hands-on experiences.

Prerequisite Knowledge
Advanced courses in applied entomology and crop protection.

Admission for NOVA courses is handled by the course organiser/ the NOVA member institution organising the course.

*Please note that the organising of the courses scheduled for 2020-2021 will be dependent on the student evaluations of previous courses within the series, as well as the yearly NOVA course budget.
Detailed information on each course in the series and information on how to apply will be available on each course's information web page. The information web page will be published on the NOVA website in the beginning of the year when the course is scheduled to run. Please see NOVA's course catalogue.

Published 31. July 2018 - 13:57 - Updated 16. October 2019 - 13:22