Chemical Ecology

Our strength in Chemical Ecology is exceptional for any program in the United States. During the past two years we have hired Jared Ali, Etya Amsalem, and Tanya Renner to our existing team of chemical ecologists.
  • Assistant Professor of Entomology


My focus is on the behavior and chemical ecology of mutli-trophic interactions. This includes plant responses to belowground herbivory, nematode and insect community ecology, chemical ecology, and coevolution. Research projects include trophic cascades, above-belowground interactions, chemotaxis of soil nematodes, and the evolution of plant defense strategies.

  • Assistant Professor of Entomology

I study the evolutionary development of complex social behaviors in bumblebees and fire ants using an integrative approach encompassing genomic, chemical and physiological tools.

  • Distinguished Professor of Entomology and Chemical Ecology


Insect-to-insect or plant-to-insect chemical communication via olfaction, neuroethology, heliothine moth sex pheromone and host plant volatile mixture interactions, development of an insect antenna-based olfactory biosensor, discovery and development of novel insect attractants, traps and mating disruption dispensers, and evolution of sex pheromone blends.

  • Professor and Department Head of Entomology

  • Distinguished Professor of Entomology
  • Director, Center for Pollinator Research


  • Associate Professor of Entomology
  • Extension Specialist


Chemically mediated tritrophic interactions, host-plant location by herbivores, host location by parasitoids, understanding how plants defend themselves against insect herbivores, including the release of volatile compounds as indirect defenses, phytohormone dynamics in response to herbivory, gall-inducing insects.

  • Ralph O. Mumma Professor of Entomology
  • Director, Center for Chemical Ecology


Insect pheromones and other semiochemicals, biochemistry of signal production and release in plants and insects, behavioral responses of insects to chemical cues, interactions among herbivorous insects, their host plants, and their natural enemies, biochemistry of insect saliva and regurgitant, environmentally safe pest management.