School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Ecology Research Students

Dimitrios Petsopoulos
Dimitrios Petsopoulos

Project description

I am a first year PhD student. My project will focus on integrating advances in Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) approaches and ecological network analysis. The aim is to understand insect pest-predator interactions within agro-ecosystems.

We will use DNA metabarcoding on historical samples from two pest monitoring schemes, the Rothamsted Insect Survey and Fera yellow water-pan network. In doing so, we hope:

  • to assess the potential of NGS technologies as a rapid tool for network construction & pest monitoring
  • examining how networks of interactions changed in the past could potentially aid in forecasting future ecological networks (pests & beneficials) as a result of environmental change

The project is funded by the Institute for Agri-Food Research and Innovation (IAFRI).

Project supervisors:

  • Dr Darren Evans (SNES, Newcastle)
  • Dr Larissa Collins (Fera)
  • Dr Ramiro Morales-Hojas (Rothamsted Research)
  • Dr Dave Lunt (University of Hull)
  • Prof Neil Boonhman (SNES, Newcastle)
  • Dr James Kitson (SNES, Newcastle)


  • Petsopoulos D., Leblois R., Sauné L., Ipekdal K., Aravanopoulos F.A., Kerdelhué C. & Avtzis D.N. (2018). Crossing the Mid-Aegean Trench: vicariant evolution of the Eastern pine processionary moth in Crete. Biol. J. Linn. Soc., 124(2):228-236   
  • Avtzis D.N., Petsopoulos D., Memtsas G.I., Kavallieratos N.G., Athanassiou C.G. & Boukouvala M.C. (2018). Revisiting the distribution of Thaumetopoea Pityocampa (Lepidoptera: Notodontidae) and T. pityocampa ENA clade in Greece. J. Econ. Entomol., 113(3):1256-1260


Ecology, entomology, agriculture and forestry, hiking


  • BSc and MSc Forestry and Natural Environment