Vera B. Raposo is conducting a Ph.D. in Agrarian Sciences (Plant Protection) by the University of the Azores starting in 2022 within the GBA. She is conducting the project Seeking the best biological control solutions against armoured scales (Homoptera: Diaspididae): An innovative approach to protect Ananas comosus L. Merr. (Poales: Bromeliaceae), under the supervision of António Onofre Soares from University of the Azores, and Eric Lucas from Université du Québec à Montréal. Vera's Ph.D. project aims are:
• To describe the population dynamic of the two pineapple armoured scales.
• To describe life-history traits of the two pineapple armoured scales under different biotic and abiotic conditions.
• To describe the spatial dispersal pattern of pineapple armoured scales.
• To determine the economic injury level (EIL) and risk estimation of pineapple armoured scales to the crop.
• To characterize the Azorean guild of native natural enemies of pineapple armoured scales.
• To evaluate the performance of the most promising native natural enemies, viewing an augmentative strategy, under single or multispecific releases.
• To test and to evaluate the potential use of banker plants to long-term sustainable populations of natural enemies inside glasshouses.