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.

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.

Emily Mall (undergraduate researcher)


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.

[Your smiling face here]

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.