Studying Insect-Plant Behavior in
the John Rushin Prairie
Our group is interested in understanding the genetics of behavior. Insects and other arthropods are excellent organisms to use for studying behavior because they are relatively easy to access and study. Many insects also have host plants on which they feed and deposit offspring.
These host plants often influence the insects’ behavior.
Our studies take place on the John Rushin Prairie, a 36-acre restored prairie located on Missouri Western’s campus. This prairie was established in 2020 and is a community-wide effect to grow plants that are native to the Midwest, including grasses and wildflowers. We are currently studying the relationships between insects native to prairielands and their host plants. Our goal is to better understand the complex relationships between host plants and insects, and better understand how the plant influences the behavior of insects.
Research Requirements: A strong interest in genetics, behavior, or ecology