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Invasive Pest Threats in the North

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    Illustrasjon: Shutterstock, sciencepics

NOVA PhD course of 3 ECTS, organised by Prof. Heikki Hokkanen, University of Helsinki - Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry.
Course dates and location: 25-29 Sept. 2017 in Helsinki, Finland.

The course is the first course in the NOVA PhD course series "Climate Change Entomology in the North" which is scheduled for 2017-2019:

Course Description
The series "Climate Change Entomology in the North" focuses on the fundamental and drastic demands in agricultural entomology in the Nordic countries, caused primarily by climate change. At an accelerating rate new serious, invasive pests threaten our primary production systems in agriculture, horticulture, forestry, and wilderness areas. Furthermore, our pollination and biocontrol ecosystems services - vital to our crop production as well as wild flowers and berries - are at risk due to invading pests, competitors, and diseases; changing phenology of flowering; multiple generations of pests; decline and even forecast extinctions of certain pollinator species, etc. We need to train a new generation of experts in this area to be able to cope with the growing challenges. Foremost immediate threats include the spotted wing Drosophila -fly, recently introduced from Asia to Europe, and which is making its way northwards (recorded at many locations in Sweden already).

Content
In the course series we will train the students to understand the mechanisms of invasions, what alternatives we have in coping with and preventing the spread, what can be used for rapid and early diagnostics of such new problems, and how to mitigate negative impacts of invasions. Similarly the rapid decline of diversity and overall population densities of key pollinators requires in-depth understanding of the mechanisms, in order to design and apply suitable mitigation measures (including regulatory approaches).

Programme Outline

  • Pre-campus assignments
  • Lectures and interactive seminars on mechanisms of invasions, what alternatives we have in coping with and preventing the spread, what can be used for rapid and early diagnostics of such new problems, and how to mitigate negative impacts of invasions. Similarly topics dealing with the rapid decline of diversity and overall population densities of key pollinators, understanding of the mechanisms, designing and applying suitable mitigation measures (including regulatory approaches).
  • Lab-work, demonstrations, and field assessments concerning e.g., detection and monitoring of invasive pests, control methods, and pollinator networks
  • Field trip related to species invasions and pollinator assemblages

Pre-/Post-Campus Assignments
In-depth background literature assignments, eventual case study preparation.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Up-to date knowledge of the driving forces and mechanisms of species invasions and displacement in particular as they relate to climate change
  2. Appreciation of the complexity of the ecological mechanisms involved
  3. Insights into possible avoidance, mitigation, and remedy measures that can be applied, including the need for international collaboration and coordinated actions
  4. Inspiration, techniques and tools for students to conduct research in the topic areas covered by the course series

Evaluation Elements

  • Quality of pre-course assignment feedback
  • Level of engagement and participation during the course-week
  • Evaluation of individually acquired knowledge during our final interactive session

Pedagogical Approach

  • Problem-oriented learning
  • Positive feedback and learning within study groups
  • Hands-on training of key concepts in the lab and in the field

Estimated Workload

  • 10 hours of seminars
  • 15 hours of lab and field work
  • 15 hours of lectures
  • 50 hours of independent work

Prerequisite Knowledge
Basic and advanced courses in applied entomology, environmental sciences, and ecology.

Admission
Admission for NOVA courses is handled by the course organiser/ the NOVA member institution organising the course. Please see the links in the margin for more information.

Course application deadline: 15 July 2017

Apply here

Published 21. December 2016 - 11:06 - Updated 16. May 2017 - 13:25

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