William C. Wetzel (principal investigator)

I am a population and community ecologist interested in how biological diversity and environmental variability influence plants and insects in natural and agricultural ecosystems. My research links ecological patterns at the scale of populations and communities with processes at the level of individual organisms. I do this by drawing on diverse disciplines, including plant chemistry, animal physiology and behavior, and population and community dynamics, and by using mathematical and statistical modeling to link theory, laboratory studies, and field data. I am also dedicated to helping students in the biological sciences develop their abilities to think quantitatively about the natural world using the language of math and statistics. I do this by teaching two quantitative ecology & evolution courses, one in the Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior graduate program and one in the Department of Entomology, and by working to enhance and modernize the quantitative component of biology curricula.

Wetzel CV • Google Scholar profile • Departmental profile

Email: • Twitter: @wcwetzel

Andrea Glassmire (postdoctoral fellow)


My research is greatly inspired by Thompson’s Geographic Mosaic Hypothesis to understand the defensive nature of secondary metabolites on the evolution, physiology, and diversity of specialist herbivores and their associated parasitoids.  Population variability changes across the geographic landscape which inherently influences associated interactions. My goal is to investigate what causes phytochemical variation and how that influences the performance and dispersal of herbivores and associated natural enemies. • Google Scholar profile

Luke N. Zehr (lab manager)

DSC_0670I recently earned a M.S. in entomology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  I am delighted to join the Wetzel Lab, where I’ll get to apply and deepen my broad interests in plant-insect interactions.  I am specifically interested in behavioral adaptations of herbivorous insects that may have adaptive functions in foraging, and have begun exploring nocturnal herbivory as one potential mechanism.

Kayleigh C. Hauri (M.S. student)

Kayleigh pictureI am interested in food webs and predator-prey interactions, especially in agricultural systems. Before joining the Wetzel lab I worked on a variety of projects including the effects of disturbance on arthropod food web structure, biocontrol in wheat-stem sawfly, and the effects of pesticides on monarch butterfly development. I am excited to begin my Master’s and combine these interests for my own project.


Emily Mall (undergraduate researcher)

16403228_704707159702293_4190048380020101880_oI am currently a junior studying Zoology and Public Policy, while participating on Michigan State University’s Women’s Varsity Crew. I am interested in wildlife biology research and conservation policy.  I am passionate about applying knowledge gained from research into policy, as a way to positively impact the present and future inhabitants of the world. I hope to focus on population interactions and environmental adaptations.


Annie Levardsen (undergraduate researcher)


I am a sophomore Horticulture student at MSU, and I am interested in sustainable agriculture and agroecology. When I’m not studying I enjoy visiting the MSU Bug House and Rosebud the tarantula, pictured here.







IMG_3783I’m interested in the taste and mouthfeel of leaves that crinkle when I grab them. Sleeping is boring, so I avoid it when possible. I’ll sleep after I’m finished figuring out how the world works.


2013-08-24 14.37.22My interests include fieldwork, smelling all the things, the ecology of small mammals, and running in circles and biting turf. I sleep as much as possible unless I’m in the field.

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Are you interested in the ecology of plants and insects? Are you interested in how biological diversity or environmental variability influences the interactions among plants, insect herbivores, and insect predators? Do you want to learn to combine ecological field studies with modern quantitative modeling techniques? If so, the Wetzel Lab may be the place for you. Please read the Join the lab! page for more information and email me if you’re interested ( I take MS and PhD students through the Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior Program and the Department of Entomology, meaning students graduate with a dual degree in both subjects.