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Postdoctoral Fellow

Department

Zoology and Entomology
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Alien invasive insects affect invaded regions directly or/and indirectly. The direct effects include parasitising or predating on a native host or prey, feeding on native plants, and hybridizing with native species. Indirectly, invasive insects affect invaded environments by competing for a resource with natives, displacing native species, playing a role in disease transmission and sharing natural enemies with native species. My research focuses on the Deodar weevil, Pissodes nemorensis, native to North America. This insect was accidentally introduced into South Africa and currently distributed throughout pine growing provinces of the country on all commercial Pinus spp. I am investigating its identity and genetic diversity, distribution and prevalence of its natural enemies, its co-occurrence with another invasive insect pest (the Sirex woodwasp, Sirex noctilio), and how it utilises different Pinus spp. for maturation feeding and breeding purpose.

In general, my research interest focuses on entomological and nematological research, more specifically on the ecology, diversity, and management of insect pests and on plant-mediated insect-nematode interactions and the underlying molecular and physiological mechanisms.

 

 

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Publication
Wondafrash M, Slippers B, Garnas J, Hurley BP. (2017) Parasitoid assemblage associated with a North American pine weevil in South Africa. Agricultural and Forest Entomology 10.1111/afe.12246
Wondafrash M, Slippers B, Garnas J, Roux G, Foit J, Langor DW, Hurley BP. (2016) Identification and genetic diversity of two invasive Pissodes spp. Germar (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in their introduced range in the southern hemisphere. Biological Invasions 18:2283. 10.1007/s10530-016-1159-5
Abebe E, Mekete T, Seid A, Meressa BH, Wondafrash M, Addis T, Getaneh G, Abate BA. (2015) Research on plant-parasitic and entomopathogenic nematodes in Ethiopia: a review of current state and future direction. Nematology 17(7):741-759. 10.1163/15685411-00002919
Wondafrash M, Van Dam NM, Tytgat TOG. (2013) Plant systemic induced responses mediate interactions between root parasitic nematodes and aboveground herbivorous insects.. Frontiers in Plant Sciences 4:87. 10.3389/fpls.2013.00087
Wondafrash M, Getu E, Terefe G. (2012) Survival and Feeding of African bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera (Hubner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) affected by Neem, Azadirachta indica (A. Juss) Extracts. World Journal of Agricultural Sciences 8(3):280-285.
Wondafrash M, Getu E, Terefe G. (2012) Neem, Azadirachta indica (A. Juss) Extracts Negatively Influenced Growth and Development of African Bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera (Hubner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Academic Journal of Entomology 5(1):22-27.
Wondafrash M, Getu E, Terefe G. (2012) Life-cycle Parameters of African bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera (Hubner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) affected by Neem, Azadirachta indica (A. Juss) Extracts. Agricultural Science Research Journal 2(6):335-345.