Traversing A Treacherous Landscape: Modelling Caterpillar Movement And Behaviour On Whole Plants At Multiple Scales (2006–2008)
Our project seeks to go beyond observation-based science by determining the rules (mechanisms) that control movement and feeding behaviour of insects that feed on plants. We provide plant growers and pest managers with predictive tools to enhance agricultural production. Quantification of behaviour and predictive modelling will be achieved by using data from real-time observations on a variety of plant types and parts to construct a model that accurately predicts outcomes. For the first time both macro and micro architecture will be integrated. The pest caterpillar, Helicoverpa armigera, a serious pest of crops world-wide, will be used as the model system because a significant body of knowledge exists regarding its observed behaviour.