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People

Althoff Lab


Althoff
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David M. Althoff, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Biology
440 Life Sciences Complex
315-443-1096

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

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Current Lab Members


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Dr. Shengpei Wang
PhD Student
429 Life Sciences Complex
315-443-9368

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. She finished her Ph.D. in Aug 2020 and is currently a postdoc in the lab studying mutualism dynamics in synthetic yeast communities.



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Karma Thomas
Ph.D. student
429 Life Sciences Complex

Karma received her B.S. from Weber State University in Biology and joined the lab in Aug of 2020. She is interested in the ecology and evolution of insects and their interactions with plants.


Thomas Johnson
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Thomas Johnson

429 Life Sciences Complex

Thomas is interested in insect evolution and species interactions. They earned their B.S. in Biology and B.A. in German Studies from the University of Kansas. Thomas joined the lab in Aug 2020.



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Gwen Bode
Ph.D. Student
429 Life Sciences Complex

Gwen is interested in how plant chemistry, especially floral scent, influences plant-insect interactions



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Diego Luna
Undergraduate Researcher
429 Life Sciences Complex

Diego is a Biotech student studying the how yucca plants defend against their moth herbivores.


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Lab Alumni



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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.



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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.



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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. She is now working with Doug Frank, Jason, Fridley, and Katie Beckilin at SU.



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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 as independent researcher in Thailand.



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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.



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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.



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Heather Murin
Undergraduate Researcher, 2018-2019

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