David Dussourd, Ph.D
Ph.D., Cornell University, 1986.
Research Specialty: Insect-plant interactions
The Dussourd lab studies insect ecology, behavior, and the intriguing interactions between insects and plants. The major focus of our research is on insect counteradaptations to plant defenses. We are particularly interested in plant defenses stored within elongate canal systems such as latex or resin canals. Insects feeding on these plants commonly sever leaf veins or transect leaves with trenches thereby depressurizing the canals and preventing the influx of latex or resin into their prospective feeding site. We use insect behaviors as a probe for understanding plant defenses and for isolating plant chemicals potentially useful in pest control. In previous studies, we have worked with butterflies and moths (caterpillars and adults), beetles, katydids, aphids, slugs, and spiders, and a diverse assortment of plants that include wildflowers (milkweeds, cardinal flower), crops (lettuce, cucumber, parsley, fig, papaya, cassava), and trees (oaks, pecan, birch).
Our broader interests include the fields of plant-animal interactions, entomology, behavioral ecology, and chemical ecology. Students interested in undergraduate or graduate research in these areas are encouraged to contact David Dussourd at firstname.lastname@example.org or 501-450-5921.