Welcome to the von Dohlen research group at the Department of Biology, Utah State University, Logan, Utah!

Our current research centers on the evolution of sap-feeding insects and their bacterial endosymbionts, evolution of gall formation and life cycles in sap-feeding insects, and molecular phylogenetics of insects.

The witch-hazel shown above is a host plant of aphids I studied as a graduate student. Witch-hazel aphids form galls on their host plants and have fascinating, host-alternating life cycles. Both aphids and  witch-hazels have  intriguing, disjunct distributions in eastern North America and eastern Asia. How and when such disjunctions developed in aphids has been another subject of our research.


Winter 2017:

Our lab is recruiting highly qualified and motivated students for summer/fall 2017. Contact Dr. Carol von Dohlen for more information.

We welcome undergraduate research assistants Thomas Crowley and Samantha Garrett to the lab!

Fall 2016:

Undergraduates Cody Bills, Lina Ghabayen, and Ghazal Abu Salim presented posters at the USU Undergraduate Research Symposium–great job, all!

Summer 2016:

Lina Ghabayen was awarded an Undergraduate Research and Creative Opportunities grant from USU. Congratulations!

Previous mealybug symbiont work was highlighted in Ed Yong’s article in The Atlantic; see the article’s outstanding featured publication on repeated replacement of mealybug symbionts, by Husnik and McCutcheon in PNAS.

Spring 2016:

Juanita Rodriguez accepted the position of Hymenoptera Research Scientist/Curator at CSIRO–wonderful news! And a place to stay in Australia 🙂

Katie Weglarz received an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant–congratulations Katie!

Spring 2015:

Both Katie Weglarz and Zach Portman were awarded USU Dissertation Enhancement Grants–congrats!

Ian Aper was awarded an URCO (undergraduate research) grant and Cody Bills was awarded a College of Science Minigrant–great job, guys!

Spring 2014:

Juanita Rodriguez successfully defended her dissertation—congratulations! Juanita will be moving on to a post-doc in Jason Bond’s lab at Auburn University.

Cecilia Waichert successfully defended her dissertation—congratulations! Cecilia was  awarded a Brazilian fellowship for a one-year post-doc here at USU with James Pitts.

Katie Weglarz and Zach Portman passed their comprehensive exams!


National Geographic article on mealybug symbiont genomes

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