I am an evolutionary ecologist interested in the mechanisms and consequences of interactions involving plants and other organisms. My research is generally grounded in field-based studies, but I take an integrative approach that includes phytochemical analysis, laboratory bioassays, and a diversity of quantitative methods.
I began as an assistant professor at Virginia Tech in January 2017. Previously I was a postdoctoral researcher with Katja Poveda at Cornell University and a Ph.D. student with Deane Bowers at the University of Colorado.
I am a chemical ecologist broadly interested in the ecology and evolution of phytochemistry at the whole-plant level. Within a given plant, each organ/tissue type is often subject to divergent physiological and ecological pressures, and evolution of phytochemistry at the species level is likely to be a product of all of these pressures. Thus, I seek to develop an integrative perspective of phytochemical evolution through examining intraspecific chemotypic differentiation and plasticity across tissue types. I explore these chemical defenses in the contexts of plants' networks of biotic interactions as well as co-occurring biotic and abiotic stressors. My principal toolkit in these investigations is that of molecular networking-based metabolomics. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | Research Gate
Lauren Maynard Ph.D. Student
I am broadly interested in the intricate puzzle of the natural world. I enjoy untangling the relationships among species and trophic levels. For my master’s research, I am working at La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica studying the role of secondary metabolites in seed dispersal. My project will focus on a plant genus (Piper) and two groups of animals that consume its fruits: bats and birds. Contact: email@example.com
Tori Meakem M.S. Student
I am interested in multi-species interactions, with a particular focus on tree response to pest and pathogen pressures. Before joining the lab as an MS student, I worked with long-term forest monitoring plots to quantify changes in forest structure and carbon stocks. My current work involves examining the influence of different phytobiome-altering treatments on fruit chemistry and pest damage in apple trees. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gustavo Teixeira Visiting Scholar
I am a postharvest physiologist interested in the physiological and biochemical aspects of fruit storage. My research is mostly related to tropical fruit species involving modified and controlled atmosphere storage, fresh-cut production, and the use of near infrared spectroscopy (NIR) in quality control processes. Currently I am tenured professor at São Paulo State University (UNESP), but I was assistant professor at São Paulo University (USP), researcher at Nacional Semiarid Institute (INSA-MCTI), postdoctoral researcher with Prof. Dr. José Fernando Durigan at UNESP and also his Master and Doctorate student. Contact: email@example.com | Google Scholar
Billy and Joey Junior Researchers
We are a big brother & little brother team investigating the generalist foraging strategies of lepidopterans and their effects on weight gain prior to pupation.
Your Name Here?
If you are a motivated undergraduate, prospective graduate student, or post-doc and think you would be a good fit for the lab, please see the lab opportunities section for more details on any current recruiting efforts and tips for prospective students.
Current Undergraduate Researchers
Traves Welch Sadie Kelly Patrick Shea Zach Fisher Grace Florjancic Jacob Turner
Distinguished Lab Alumni
Seanne Clemente La Selva REU Summer 2017
Keao Rivera-Long La Selva REU Summer 2017
Madison Altice JCHS Undergrad Spring 2018
Freddie Xu MAOP Undergrad Summer 2018
Annie Zell Lab Technician 2017-18
Undergraduate Research Assistants (2017-present) Yancey Harrison (Spring 2018) Audrey Boling (Spring 2018) Tobi Osholaja (Summer 2018) Michael Oduro (Summer 2018) Dylan Rose (Summer 2018) Nicholas Rhinesmith (Summer 2018) Cole Saborio (Fall 2018) Thomas Lowerre (Fall 2018) Predj Simha (Fall 2018) Alyn Wakefield (Summer 2018-Spring 2019) Katherine Berg (Fall 2018-Spring 2019) Natalie Rodeman (Fall 2018-Spring 2019) Matthew Pluschau (Spring 2019)