Jorge Ruiz-Arocho's research examines how the cultivation of domesticated crops molded arthropod agrobiodiversity and plant-arthropod interactions. The study of arthropod communities from crops and wild relatives will provide researchers an insight on how artificial selection of desirable plant traits has influence higher trophic levels. Surprisingly, arthropods cohabiting wild relatives have been poorly studied, resulting in a lack of data on how crop domestication shapes agrobiodiversity.
Currently, Jorge is working in Mexico, where many of the crops that are the base of our food system originated from. For his research project, he has established collaborations with multiple Mexican agencies such as UNAM, CONABIO, ECOSUR, UdeG and the Oaxaca's Ethnobotanical Garden. As well as with dozens of mestizo and indigenous farmer communities from all over the country. Their collaborative long-term goal is to identify hotspots of biological resources, as crop wild relatives might function as reservoirs of beneficial arthropod species and interactions useful in sustainable agriculture.
Advisor: Yolanda Chen