Feb 17th 2015

NECTAR : Nématodes Cultures Taxonomie Arthropodes (FUN)

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Taxonomy is a fundamental and elementary science. Arthropods and nematodes make up the majority of species on earth. Being able to understand and identify them is thus critical for biodiversity conservation and management.

- Knowing which arthropod or nematode pest species are present in cultivated areas is an essential step for implementing new crop protection strategies using lower amounts of pesticides.

- Knowing which arthropod or nematode natural enemy species are in cultivated areas is critical for efficient biological control measures and to avoid pest outbreaks and invasions (biovigilance).

- Knowing which arthropod or nematode species are present in the natural environment enables threatened species to be identified and biodiversity conservation and management strategies to be developed.

To respond to these challenges, a high quality training course on methods to identify these organisms is essential, particularly in a context where the teaching of taxonomy in Europe is increasingly limited, endangering the future of taxonomical research and the development of biological control and biodiversity management strategies.

This MOOC (in French and English) will deliver 5 weeks of course material and other pedagogical activities covering the following topics:

- Classification of arthropods and nematodes

- Collection and trapping methods

- Morphological and molecular identification methods

- Application of these integrative concepts for agroecosystem management through case studies

This MOOC aims to build knowledge and promote exchanges within an international student community. Through innovative pedagogy, you will valorise your practical and scientific experience with the help of experts, professors and researchers, of Montpellier SupAgro and Agreenium partners.

Who is this MOOC for?

- A passionate public, curious about biodiversity, interested in discovering the world of arthropods/nematodes and the bases of their identification, and willing to share knowledge and learn from others.

- All professionals seeking to acquire knowledge and skills essential for the development of agroecosystem management strategies addressing current societal challenges such as biodiversity conservation and pesticide-free crop protection.

- All students willing to learn the scientific foundations of how to operationalize crop management strategies using less pesticides.

Watch out ! Pre-requisites in biology are required.

Training dynamics

This MOOC alternates theoretical inputs provided by professors / researchers and a collective construction of knowledge where all participants can, based on their own observations and integrative exercises, enrich the course. Individual and collaborative activities, as well as self-corrected exercises, will be proposed each week to facilitate the appropriation and understanding of course material.

Integrative exercises forming a common thread are woven through the 5-week course and aim to promote knowledge integration and application. From the collection of taxa and the analysis of the consequences of field observations through to the implementation of morphological and molecular identifications, students will question themselves, make choices and propose well-reasoned strategies for each step.

Course organisation

The course is organised in four sessions, each requiring approximately 4 to 5 hours of work:

- Session 1: Arthropods and Nematodes: general biology and how to collect? (2 weeks)

- Session 2: Arthropods and Nematodes: how to identify? (1 week)

- Session 3: Arthropods and Nematodes: diagnostic and innovations (1 week)

- Session 4: Arthropods and Nematodes: taxonomy and applications for biological control and biodiversity management (1 week)

At the end of the course, participants will be able to:

- Implement techniques for collecting insects, mites and nematodes

- Understand the different approaches of modern taxonomy and the contribution of molecular biology

- Determine the importance of taxonomy for agroecosystem management

- Describe and analyse applied case studies involving insects, mites and nematodes

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