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PhD student

Department

Zoology and Entomology
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Primary Supervisor
Brett Hurley

Co Supervisor
Mike Wingfield
Bernard Slippers

My research interest focuses on plant protection in general and biological pest control in particular. I am also very much interested in the area of food security and nutrition due to the fact that yield loss caused by pests has a huge impact on both food quantity and quality.

One of the developing sectors of biological pest control is based on using entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) and their symbiotic bacteria for the management of insect pests. EPNs are used in different countries and commodities for the management of white grubs and cut worms which are serious establishment insect pests in South African plantation. However, their potential as possible management strategy for plantation forestry in South Africa has not been explored yet. Therefore, my PhD project focus is on molecular characterization and evaluation of EPNs for the management of white grubs in South African plantation.  

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Publication
Abate BA, Wingfield MJ, Slippers B, Hurley BP. (2017) Commercialization of Entomopathogenic Nematodes: Should import regulations be revised?. Biocontrol Science and Technology 10.1080/09583157.2016.1278200
Abate BA, Malan AP, Tiedt LR, Wingfield MJ, Slippers B, Hurley BP. (2016) Steinernema fabii n. sp. (Rhabditida: Steinernematidae), a new entomopathogenic nematode from South Africa. Nematology 18(2):235-255. 10.1163/15685411-00002956
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