The Desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria, lives in hot desert areas from Sahara to India and is an important threat to agriculture in Africa and the Middle East. When population densities get high, locusts join in groups (gregarization) and migrate in hopper bands or in adult swarms which cause very important damages to pastures and crops.
Analyses carried out so far on hopper bands movements do not consider the role of vegetation structure. Furthermore, the group probably also forms so as to try to optimize the use of available vegetable resources.
This thesis aims to combine experimental work and modelling to develop tools to predict movements of Desert locust groups by focusing on hopper bands. We will use an agent-based modelling approach guided by field historic observations and the knowledge of the species' biology and ecology. We will couple this theoretical approach with laboratory experiments to calibrate behavior showed in these models.