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.


Fall 2020:

Ashley passed her comprehensive exams – congratulations, Ashley!

Spring 2020:

We managed to keep spirits up and research going over Zoom and strategic time in the lab.

Fall  2019:

Meg Licht passed her comprehensive exams – congratulations Meg!

We welcome new undergraduate researcher, Selendra Lewis, to the lab.

Summer 2019:

A fun week hosting students from the Blanding Campus fduring our yearly Native American STEM Mentorship Program at USU. The students especially enjoyed dissecting aphid and psyllid galls.

Meg and Ashley had successful collecting trips in the Midwest and Eastern US.

Fall 2018:

Welcome new PhD student, Ashley Dederich!

Summer 2018:

We had a great time hosting 3 students from the Blanding Campus for a week during our yearly Native American STEM Mentorship Program at USU.

Several of our team spent a terrific, productive week in Athens, GA with collaborator Gaelen Burke. We learned so much, and even got out in the field and collected several valuable specimens–thank you Gaelen!

We recruited a new PhD student, Ashley Dederich, from Millsaps College.

Spring 2018:

Katie Weglarz successfully defended her dissertation–congratulations Katie!!

Welcome undergraduate researchers Brennan Winkler and Aubrey Gunnell.

Fall 2017:

Welcome to new PhD students Meg Licht and Jonathan Bravo!

Spring 2017:

Undergraduate researcher Cody Bills presented a poster on his research on sandflies, Wolbachia, and pesticide resistance at the National Undergraduate Research Conference in Memphis, TN.

We have recruited two new PhD students to our group, Meg Licht and Jonathan Bravo.

We welcome undergraduate research assistant Reem Ghabayen to the lab.

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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