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This module presents an overview of the socio-economic impact of major invertebrate pests and the challenges of developing environmentally friendly methods of control which reduce or eliminate dependency on convetional synthetic chemical pesticides. The module is appropriate to a wide range of students. It looks at (in particular) life cycles of major invertebrate pests (of crops plus vectors of human and animal diseases), microbial and microbial biological control agents and strategies to integrate these agents into complex pest management programmes. The module also considers factors which drive the development of biological control agents as well as the problems in developing these agents including the risks they pose. It also involves instruction on preparing a report and in solving analytical questions (as problem solving is claimed to be a strength of Bioscience graduates). Material is presented in lectures and as required reading in the set text.
We study the potential of organisms, particularly fungi and microalgae, to provide biomass and novel compounds (including chemical feedstocks, therapeutics and nutraceuticals), and act as agents for biocontrol and bioremediation.