I am plant scientist with a specialisation in insect-plant interactions and diseases. I am aspiring to become a plant protection expert with a wealth of knowledge of biological control and integrated pest management. My mission as a researcher is to contribute to the global goal of making our food production more sustainable.
Currently, I am doing research as part of an NWO granted project that aims to create a new natural plant protection method against Western Flower Thrips, a small greenhouse pest. Inspired by the natural defense of plants via glandular trichomes, Leiden university, Wageningen University, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Aeres University of Applied Sciences, Van Iperen bv. and others are combining their efforts to design adhesive particles from natural materials that can be sprayed on the plant to protect it from insects. My role is to test the effectiveness of these adhesive particles against thrips, their toxicity to plants, and to identify natural odours that may be incorporated into the particles, which then may repel thrips or attract their natural enemies.