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Althoff Lab

David M. Althoff, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Biology
440 Life Sciences Complex

My key research interests are evolutionary ecology of species interactions; insect community ecology, molecular ecology, and phylogenetics.

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Current Lab Members

Shengpei Wang
PhD Student
429 Life Sciences Complex

Shengpei studied environmental science and management at the University of California--Davis for her undergraduate degree. She is broadly interested in the ecology and evolution of plant-insect interactions and the role of phenotypic plasticity in these interactions.

Heather Murin
Undergraduate Researcher
427-429 Life Sciences Complex

Heather is a Biochemistry major and has examined yucca moth larval feeding, ovipositor morphology, and yucca floral morphology. She is currently spear-heading our outreach workshop for 7th and 8th graders on plant-insect coevolution.

Ryan Hebert
Undergraduate Researcher
429 Life Sciences Complex

Ryan is an Honors Biology student studying the role of lignin and cellulose as plant defenses to moths that attack yucca plants.


Lab Alumni

Annika Moe
Postdoc, 2011-2102

Annika received a Ph.D. from U of Minn. for her work on fig & fig wasp speciation. She is interested in species interactions and their role in promoting speciation as well as evolution education. As a postdoc in the lab, she studied local adaptation in aphids and their parasitoids. Annika is now at the University of Minnesota as an Education Specialist.

Alison Agresta
Undergrad researcher, 2012-2013

Alison graduated from Syracuse University in 2013 with a degree in biology, focusing on environmental science and minoring in geography. Her interests in our lab were aquatic systems and water quality, and she completed a study on the effects of water quality on Daphnia life history. Alison is now working for The Nature Conservancy in Rochester, NY.

K. Alice Wood Fox
Lab Technician II, 2012-2105

K. Alice served as Lab Technician II to the Althoff and Segraves Laboratories as from 2012-2015, working primarily on molecular and morphological analysis of east coast populations of Prodoxus decipiens. In 2015, she joined the Fridley Laboratory for the Succession across Latitudinal Gradients Network (SLaGNET) project, which examined plant succession rates in Northern vs. Southern old fields. In early 2016, K. Alice briefly joined the Frank Laboratory for a study of plant Carbon-Nitrogen content at varying altitude and grazing intensities at Yellowstone National Park. In March 2016, she began her appointment as Senior Research Support Specialist for the Whipps Laboratory at SUNY-ESF. She will be working primarily on the New England Cottontail project, identifying rabbit species and individuals through DNA analysis (MSATs, sequencing).

Clive Darwell
Postdoc, 2013-2015

Clive is interested in how biodiversity is structured within ecosystems and what patterns and processes can be identified to describe and explain it, and more specifically, in how intimate ecological interactions in conjunction with the evolutionary and biogeographical histories of species determine the composition, structure and function of biodiversity. He is also interested in how these relationships are maintained or modified according to both environmental factors (e.g., climate change) and additional biotic pressures (e.g., in the face of competition, predation, or parasitism). Before moving on to yucca-moths, Clive used the fig-wasp microcosm as a study system during his PhD. He is currently working with Dr. Evan Economo in Okinawa, Japan.

Alexandra Chapman
Undergrad researcher, 2014-2016

Lexie characterized the bacterial gut communities of yucca moths for her Honor's Thesis. She is currently attending SUNY Upstate Medical.

Haley Plasman
M.S., 2013-2016

Haley studied potential host-associated differentiation in the pea aphid parasitoid, Aphidius ervi. This wasp is used as a biocontrol agent throughout the U.S. Haley tested whether host race formation in pea aphids scales up to host-race formation in parasitoids. Haley is now teaching freshman high school Biology in Austin, TX.