Lic. Esteve Alonso Mesén Porras

Esteve was born in 1990 in San José, Costa Rica. He studied Biotechnology Engineer in the Technology Institute of Costa Rica and graduated during February in 2015. His priority topics of interest are biological pest control and microbial ecology. He has participated in the research projects “Potentiation of the toxic effect of Bacillus thuringiensis subs. israelensis against the coffee berry borer by a soybean extract enriched in protease inhibitors” and “Evaluation of entomopathogenic activity of different fungi and Bacillus thuringiensis strains for the potential development of a bioformulation against leaf-cutting ants, Atta cephalotes”.

Since 2015, he is studying to obtain a master’s degree in Microbiology in the University of Costa Rica, and his investigation is focused in the development of a formulation containing proper components, an attractive substrate and active ingredients, which include bioactive microorganisms that act in a combinatorial manner to reach a global control of leaf-cutting ant colonies (Atta y Acromyrmex sp.); not only from the insects that harbor in the nest, but also its fungal cultivar (Leucoagaricus gongylophorus). Currently, he is performing palatability bioassays in the laboratory and the field to obtain a pellet with desirable characteristics for its application in agricultural lands. Besides that, he is developing coexistence experiments with those microorganisms that produce a synergistic effect of virulence against the leafcutters colony, and applying scanning and transmission electron microscopy techniques to recognize virulence effects produced by the most promissory bacteria and fungi; with the objective of obtaining an eco–friendly and environmentally sustainable bioproduct to control specifically leaf-cutting ants.