Research Paper on Insect-Plant Interaction Co-authored by Dr. Johnson

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Medaille Student running science experiment
August 24, 2011 - 11:42am

Robert Johnson, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Mathematics and Sciences, is co-author on a paper being presented to the 14th Symposium on Insect-Plant Interactions to be held in Wageningen, The Netherlands.

"Herbivore-induced plant responses as factors influencing spatial dynamics of herbivore populations" resulted from research collaboration with Andre Kessler and Katja Poveda of Cornell University, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

The Symposia on Insect-Plant Interactions bring together scientists involved in studies at different levels of biological organization. The meetings are characterized by an informal atmosphere with ample opportunity for interactions between young and established scientists.

"As the beetle larvae consumes its goldenrod host leaves, the plant mobilizes its defenses in an attempt to reduce feeding damage. The chemicals the plant produces affect the digestion and metabolism of the feeding larvae and this induces the larvae to move onto other goldenrod plants. For the slow-moving larvae this can be dangerous. The paper documents this larval movement and provides a first example of host quality changes affecting larval insect dispersal." - Dr. Johnson.

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