my name is Tizian Lang, and I’m currently working on my Master Thesis at the Molli-Lab of AG-Scheu.
My thesis is embedded in the Environmental and Socioeconomic Functions of Tropical Lowland Rainforest Transformation Systems (EFForTS) project, a collaborative DFG-funded research project between Bogor Agricultural University, Jambi University, Tadulako University and the University of Göttingen.
My main research focus is the diversity and community structure of parasitoid wasps in different land use systems in Jambi province, Sumatra. Parasitoid wasps are hymenopteran insects (like ants, bees, bumblebees and wasps) that lay their eggs in or onto usually eggs or juvenile stages of host insects. The host is then consumed by the developing parasitoid.
Parasitoid wasps are a major and diverse component of canopy arthropod fauna and may play an important role in ecosystem functions, as they can effectively control host (and potential pest) populations. Yet, like many insect groups in the tropics, they are understudied. The lack of knowledge when it comes to this important group of insects may prove detrimental to conservation efforts of insect biodiversity and ecosystem functions.
It is therefore necessary to acquire insight on the impact that land use change, like the conversion of rainforest to monocultures, e.g. of rubber and oil palm, has on this group of Hymenoptera. I hope that my research can contribute to more knowledge about this fascinating insects in tropical land use systems that might help improving the conservation of ecosystem functions and alleviating the biodiversity crisis.