I am a nutritional ecologist who works on generalist herbivores. My research seeks to understand how generalists solve the problem of balancing multiple and changing nutrient needs while dealing with plant defense. I like to use a physiological approach in order to gain insights into mechanisms underlying ecological patterns and processes.

For my current project, I am using the 'Geometric Framework' (GF), a state-space modeling approach, to explore nutrient regulation in generalist slugs (Deroceras spp). Specifically I want to establish (i) how nutrients affect slug performance and feeding behavior, (ii) how this relates to the nutritional profiles of plants, and (iii) how nutrients mediate the effect of plant defenses. The overall objective is to gain insights into slug biology to help establish pest management practices.

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John Tooker, Ph.D.
  • Professor of Entomology