Master thesis on: Population dynamics of cavity-nesting bees and wasps in lime-stone quarries

Trapnest_Felix_Kirsch_2019_100x180Wild bees and wasp often find suitable living conditions within quarries. This is cased by the unique environmental conditions of these habitats with high levels of open soil, a high abundance and richness of flowering plant species, hilly terrain and warm microclimate.
During 2020, we installed trap nests in 20 lime-stone quarries in the surrounding of Göttingen. The use of trap nests is a well-established method to evaluate the abundance and species richness of cavity-nesting bees, wasps and their parasitoids.
With the help of the trap nests, we want to find out how the abundance and richness of cavity-nesting bees, wasps and parasitoids is influenced by local quarry characteristics (e.g. quarry size, quarry age, area of open spoil and shrub land) and the surrounding landscape composition (e.g. land-use types). Possessing trap nests data of the same locations from 1999 and 2019, a comparison between the three years is also of high interest for us.
We are looking for a MSc student who wants to conduct her or his Master Thesis about these trap nests and their inhabitants. Read more...

Master thesis on: The diversity of arthropods in intercropping systems

Fieldwork_Dirversity_of_Arthropods_in Intercropping_Systems_Felix_Kirsch_2019_120x160Intercropping is the cultivation of more than one crop type at the same time on the same land. In comparison to single crop systems, crop components cultivated within an intercropping system have usually lower yield. However, this negative aspect is compensated by several advantages of intercropping systems, e.g. higher yield stability, reduced incidences of pest and diseases, reduced soil erosion, higher soil water content and improved resource efficiency.
However, intercropping systems are also interesting from an additional point of view: Intercropping systems probably have a much higher vegetative heterogeneity than single crop systems and, consequently, also offer more ecological niches which can be used by animals.
In course of a block experiment, we conducted suction sampling of ground-dwelling arthropods in intercropping systems and single crop systems. With the help of the collected samples, we want to find out whether there is a higher diversity of ground-dwelling arthropods within intercropping systems than in single crop systems. We are also interested in the question whether more beneficial insects (e.g. pest control agents) or pest species can be found in intercropping systems than in single crop systems.
We are looking for a MSc student who wants to conduct her or his Master Thesis about these questions. Read more...