PhD student Marsia Galambao has been successful in applying for funding ($1000) from the Institute of International Education. The funding will contribute towards field costs associated with assessing potential biocontrol agents for banana aphids, which carry Bunchy Top Virus. Bunchy top virus causes stunted growth in bananas and abaca, which is a major problem for the abaca fibre industry in the Philippines, as it reduces the strength of the fibre produced. Marsia’s PhD is investigating novel control strategies for preventing the spread of bunchy top virus. The institute also provided funding for Marsia’s MSc in Hawaii, and her award is part of their alumni support scheme.
PhD student Marsia Galambao looking for aphids on an abaca plant infected with bunchy top in the Philippines