Welcome to our research group at the Department of Biology, Utah State University, Logan, Utah.

Yes, that’s a plant in the banner, not an insect. This plant is witch-hazel, the host plant of the first aphids I studied as a graduate student (plus it was a beautiful stock photo in WordPress). Witch-hazel aphids form galls on their host plants and have fascinating, host-alternating life cycles. Both aphids and their witch-hazels have an intriguing disjunct distribution in eastern North America and eastern Asia. How and when such disjunctions developed in these and other aphids is one subject of my research.


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!

Another pre-proposal on symbionts of Adelgidae submitted to NSF…invited!

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!

Pre-proposal on symbionts of Adelgidae submitted to NSF; hoping for good news in May-June

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.

Cecilia Waichert successfully defended her dissertation—congratulations! Cecilia was just 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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