Graduate students from Germany’s University of Würzburg collaborating with FARMS4Biodiversity

Three graduate students from the University of Würzburg, each focusing on a different aspect of ecology, are our newest collaborators in the FARMS4Biodiversity project’s first working package, Scenarios for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.
PhD student Georg Kuestern will examine natural enemies of pests (including birds, parastioids and ground predators) in order to quantify their importance in specific landscapes and intercropping systems for agroecological farming.
PhD student Cassandra Vogel is in her second year of research, focused on the presence of bees on agroecological farms, among other topics.
MSc student Vera Mayer will investigate the relationship between Malawian butterflies and the landscape, especially in the gradient between project areas and adjacent land.

These students are living in Northern Malawi from October to June, collecting data for their research, which will collectively explore the effects of agroecological farming practices on local biodiversity and vice versa. They spent late October getting an orientation to the sites, discussing experimental design with our team members and learning about manure from farmers. This aspect of the FARMS4Biodiversity project is supervised by the University of Würtsburg’s Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter and Cornell’s Katja Poveda. We look forward to working with them and reading their findings!

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