Phil Hahn
Principal Investigator

I am an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Entomology & Nematology at the University of Florida. My research is at the interface of population, community, and evolutionary ecology focusing on plant-herbivore interactions. Current research themes in the lab include the evolution of plant defense against insects, spatial variation in plant-herbivore interactions, and insect community ecology. I am primarily interested in fundamental questions in ecology using herbaceous plants and insect herbivores in grasslands, although we are also interested in applied questions related to ecosystem management, such as understanding invasion dynamics and how herbivores influence ecological restoration. To address these questions, we combine observational and experimental approaches in the lab, greenhouse, and field at scales from local patches to populations and communities distributed across bioclimatic gradients.
Curriculum vitae
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Eduardo Calixto
Postdoctoral Research Associate


Eduardo is broadly interested in ecology and entomology from different organizational levels on the individual-community spectrum. His main research interests are related to the study of insect-plant relationships (antagonism and mutualism), especially evaluating how biotic and abiotic variables can influence the outcomes of these interactions in time and space. He has a BS in Biology from Universidade Federal de Uberlândia, Brazil, and MS and Ph.D. in Entomology/Ecology from the University of São Paulo, Brazil. Currently, his main goal is to disentangle plant resource allocation strategies (growth, defense, and reproduction) under different environmental scenarios.

Jasleen Kaur
PhD Student

Jasleen’s research interests center around investigating the complex mechanisms underlying tri-trophic interactions among plants, herbivores, and their natural enemies in natural habitats. She has MS in Biology from University of Texas RGV where she studied the effects of mycorrhizal inoculation on plant growth, defenses and tri-trophic interactions. Previously she completed her BS in Agriculture, specializing in crop protection from Punjab Agricultural University, India. Ultimately, she strives to utilize her research to devise sustainable pest management strategies.

Robert Grosdidier
MS Student

Robert’s research is focused on plant/herbivore/pollinator interactions and pollinator conservation. He is currently interested in linking functional traits of native herbivore and plant species, as well as understanding how insect herbivory and fire disturbance interact to structure communities. Robert received his BS in Wildlife and Conservation Biology from Kansas State University where his research was focused on behavioral and chemical ecology of Dermestid stored product pests. He plans to use his degree to continue studying plant/insect interactions in both agricultural and natural systems.

Marirose Kuhlman
MS Student

Joseph Cammarano
MS Student

Joey is interested in entomology and plant-insect ecology, especially that of hymenopteran parasitoids, predators, and pollinators. He has a BS in Biology and minor in Environmental Studies from Ursinus College in Pennsylvania where he studied tritrophic interactions in alfalfa agroecosystems. He aspires to continue in academia and conduct research that aids in conservation efforts and ecologically-based food systems such as agroforestry.

Sarah Kroening
Field Technician

Sarah is a recent UW-River Falls graduate with her BS in Biology. There, she studied the role of amphipod predation in freshwater ecosystems. She is interested in phenotypic responses to environments and driven to understand the small and significant organisms that make ecosystems function. She is eager to use her diverse experiences to pursue a career in the biological sciences.


Rebecca Molina

Rebecca is a senior at the University of Florida majoring in biology with a minor in English. She is interested in ecology and entomology, with a specific focus on how insects and other environmental factors affect plant defense. Her prior research examined the correlation between insect abundance and seed damage, and potential consequences for plant reproductive capacity and population size. She is currently looking forward to graduate school to dive deeper into the ecological changes affected by plant-insect interactions.

Erin Clifton

Erin is a sophomore at the University of Florida majoring in both microbiology and
biochemistry. She has just recently begun her research experience but has already become
interested in plant defenses and biocontrol. In the future Erin plans to continue conducting
research and hopes to gain experiences in multiple different biological disciplines.


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