Lyle Stevens

PhD Candidate


Host: John S. Terblanche

Project title: When bad flies make good decisions: Experimental testing of hygrosensing behaviour of C. capitata compared to other Tephritidae to understand microsite selection and environmental responses.


I am investigating the neuroethology (i.e., behaviour and decision-making) and hygrosensing ability (ability to perceive and respond to small changes in environmental conditions) of Ceratitis capitata relative to other Tephritidae species.

The project therefore aims to identify the proximate factors that underpin how and why closely-related tephritid species differ in their ability to sense and respond to fine-scale environmental variation. Secondarily, to understand what makes a global invader so invasive, while a similar congener fails to become invasive.