MIE welcomes Esraa Mustafa
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Esraa Mustafa is a Master of science student from Cairo University in Egypt. Her research focus while at the Molecular Interaction Ecology group in iDiv is to evaluate the impact of plant root parasites on aboveground plant defenses against insect herbivores. This study is a section of a broader research objective by Crispus Mbaluto that seeks to understand the mechanisms that underlie below-aboveground plant interactions with insect-herbivores of different feeding modes. Esraa uses a multidisciplinary approach including physiological, molecular and biochemical methods to study how root knot nematodes (belowground organisms) interact with Aulacothurm solani (aboveground herbivores) while sharing the same host (Solanum lycopersicum). Ultimately, she aims to contribute useful insights that can be applied to agriculture.