Laboratory of Evolutionary Ecology
Manidip’s PhD project was inspired by his long-standing interest in butterfly biology and chemical ecology. His project aims to determine how the appearance and quality of plants affect oviposition preference in grass-feeding butterflies. The ‘appearance’ includes visual and chemical stimuli such as color, shape, smell, and taste. The ‘quality’ of plants for larval growth and survival will depend on their nutrient content, physical and chemical defenses, and how larvae are adapted to cope with these plant traits.
Grass-feeding butterflies can face challenges associated with grasses as a resource, such as:
1) grasses often have low nutrition
2) they are very diverse and abundant, so it is difficult to identify under natural conditions
In this context, it is crucial to understand what strategies/traits these butterflies evolved to exploit grasses as a resource. Although correlations between appearance and quality likely drive the evolution of host-plant selection, this has not yet been approached comprehensively. Manidip will be very happy to discuss his project, you can contact him: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Mezzomo, P., Weinhold, A., Aurová, K., Jorge, L. R., Kozel, P., Michálek, J., Nováková, N., Seifert, C. L., Volfová, T., Engström, M., Salminen, J.-P., Sedio, B. E., & Volf, M. (2023). Leaf volatile and nonvolatile metabolites show different levels of specificity in response to herbivory. Ecology and Evolution, 13, e10123. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.10123