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Maria Sousa

Maria Sousa
PhD student Chemical Ecology group, Department of Plant Protection Biology


Currently, I am looking at the biological control of the tree-killing spruce bark beetle (Ips typographus) using a group of poorly studied natural enemies, the long legged flies from Medetera genus. These predatory flies have been suggested as the main biological agent contributing to a high reduction of newly emerging bark beetles from old infested spruce trees. However, very few studies have been dedicated to this species.  Recently, in the southern part of Sweden, we have identified the most common Medetera species preying on the spruce bark beetle, and also the odors that attract Medetera species to infested trees. With these odors, we are now developing an attractive bait in order to monitor Medetera populations and to attract flies for bark beetle management.


2015.09- 2017.02 - Research Assistant Institution: Microbial Horticulture group, department of Biosystem and Technology at Swedish University of Agriculture (SLU), Alnarp

2014.03 - 2015.02- Research Assistant Institution: Chemical Ecology group, department of Plant Protection at Swedish University of Agriculture (SLU)

2011 - 2013.12- Master of Sciences in Applied Biochemistry University da Madeira, Campus Universitário da Penteada, 9000 Funchal (Portugal) ( Final international classification: 16 (max 20)


2017-2022 Master students: 3

Supervising high school students projects: 5

Selected publications

6. Sousa M., Birgersson G., Green KK., Pollet M., Becher PG., Odors attracting the long-legged predator Medetera signaticornis Loew to Ips typographus L. -infested Norway spruce trees (2023) Journal of Chemical Ecology.

5. Sousa M., Ignell R., Pollet M., Green KK., Becher PG., Birgersson G. Antennal and maxillary palp morphology, and sensillar equipment, of the spruce bark beetle predators, Medetera signaticornis and Medetera infumata (Diptera: Dolichopodidae) (2023) Arthropod Structure and Development, 101229.

4. Sousa M., Mulaosmanovic E., Erdei A.L., Bengtsson M., Witzgall P., Alsanius B.W., Volatilomes reveal specific signatures for contamination of leafy vegetables with Escherichia coli O157:H7 (2023) Food Control, 109513.

3. Sousa Maria, On the multitrophic interactions between Ips typographus their tree host, associated microorganisms, and a predatory Medetera fly (2019) Introductory Research Report. Published.

2. Emina Mulaosmanovic, Sebastian Farkas, Ivar Vågsholm, Julia Darlison, Maria Sousa, Lars Mogren, Samareh Gharaie, Beatrix W. Alsanius, Safety risks associated with dispersal of E. coli O157:H7 in home sprouting modules, LWT, Volume 101, March 2019, Pages 783-788. Published.

1. Gonzalez F. Bengtsson J.A., Walker W.B., Sousa M., Cattaneo A.M., Montagné N., Fouchier A., Anfora G., Jacquin-Joly G.E., Witzgall P., Ignell R., Bengtsson M. (2015) A conserved odorant receptor detects the same 1-indanone analogs in a tortricid and noctuid moth. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, doi: 10.3389/fevo.2015.0031, Published.



Non employee at the Department of Plant Protection Biology
Telephone: +4640-415268
Postal address:
Växtskyddsbiologi, Box 190
234 22 LOMMA
Visiting address: Sundsvägen 16, Alnarp