This PhD will investigate if the Fall Armyworm moth (Spodoptera frugiperda) competes with the African armyworm moth (Spodoptera exempta). Both moths threaten African food security as their caterpillars feed on many crops, including maize. S. frugiperda, native to the Americas, was identified in Africa in 2016. S. frugiperda is now distributed throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. I aim to study direct and indirect competition, including interspecific predation, shared natural enemies, host plants, and induced plant defences. The results of this study will further develop the current knowledge of which biopesticides should be used in Kenya to control S. frugiperda and S. exempta. My PhD is in collaboration with Rothamsted Research.
Research being carried out by Ruth Carter