Dr Katharina Merkel
Science and Engineering Faculty
Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences
I am a research fellow in the QUT Fruit Fly Research Group. My primary research focus is on how individual behaviour drives the distribution of insects across landscapes over time.
Recent activities include ecological studies of the Queensland fruit fly, a major pest, as part of the project ‘Adaptive area-wide management of QFly using SIT: Guidelines for efficient and effective pest suppression and stakeholder adoption’. To address questions on local resource foraging, movement and overwintering strategies of fruit flies, I use a combination of manipulative experiments and observational studies.
My approach to answering questions of importance from an applied perspective has been to link these questions to theoretical frameworks based upon ecological principles and then to derive testable hypothesis.
The output from these studies provides valuable information for pest management recommendations. I greatly enjoy the study of economically important species/systems, thereby contributing to the development of sustainable management of agricultural pests.more...