Tephritid fruit flies have been the topic of my MSc and PhD studies. I finished my MSc on the diapause and energetic reserves regulation of the cherry fruit fly Rhagoletis cerasi and for my PhD I switched to studying the behavior of the Mediterranean fruit fly (medfly) Ceratitis capitata in relation to adult age. I have worked as a post doctorate researcher in applied entomology, since 2014 exploring (a) the use of technology in monitoring, trapping and controlling R. cerasi and (b) the deterrent effects of citrus essential oils for the control of C. capitata. Tephritid fruit flies are agricultural pests of great economic importance and also they are extensively used as model species for addressing questions regarding physiology, demography, aging and behavior.
I am currently interested in finding ways to manipulate the obligatory diapause and the facultative prolonged dormancy of R. cerasi aiming to (a) facilitate mass rearing and (b) desynchronize its occurrence with appropriate host phenology towards improving control methods of natural populations. Moreover, I would like to be involved with studies concerning possible plastic responses of invasive Tephritid species to various environmental conditions that can be correlated to their invasive potential.