During my final year, I completed a laboratory based research project that quantified the thermal biology of three species of entomopathogenic fungi (below) that are used as microbial biopesticides.
- Metarhizium anisopliae
- Lecanicillium muscarium
- Pandora neoaphidis
Isolates of different temperature tolerances were grown at a range of constant temperatures and the data was modelled to predict fungal growth under fluctuating temperatures such as those experienced in outdoor crops. I also carried out bioassays against two insect species to quantify the effect of temperature on the pathogenicity of each fungal species.
During this project I improved upon my research and experimental design skills greatly, and I believe that the experience I have gained is highly relevant to my future career plans. My final year opened my eyes to an area of biology that previously I had never thought I would be interested in and this motivated me to continue to study for a Master’s degree.