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The Insect Physiology & Behavior Research Group (IPBRG), headed by Spence Behmer, studies insect physiology and behavior, including their ecological and evolutionary bases. Our approach is "bottom-up", with an emphasis on using individual behavior as a tool to understand physiological and higher-level processes. Our lab pursues three broadly defined areas of research:


     1) physiological ecology

     2) insect sterol (cholesterol) biology

     3) mechanisms of learning


We use a number of different insects in our research, including grasshoppers, caterpillars, ants, Drosophila, and insects with sucking mouthparts (hemipterans).


Please explore our site and feel free to contact us if you have any questions. Prospective students and postdocs can click here to learn more about opportunities in the lab.

September (2014) - Spence has been promoted to Professor, and has also become Chair of the
     Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Program.

September (2014) - Spence will be giving two invited talks in September. One at the Arkansas
     Nutrition Conference (September 9-11), the other to the Interdisciplinary Plant
     Group (IPG) at the University of Missouri (September 22).

August (2014) - Congrats to Carrie Deans on being selected as one of this year's recipients
      of the Entomological Society of America's Monsanto Research Grant Award!

August (2014) - Trevor Steele (Ph.D. studnet) and Richelle Marquess (M.S. student) are the
     two newest members of the Behmer Lab. Welcome!

August (2014) - Another of Xiangfeng Jing's PhD chapters has been published. This one in
     the Journal of Insect Physiology.

July (2014) - Congrats to Carrie Deans on being awarded prestigous Texas A&M University
     Dissertation Fellowship for the 2014-2015 academic year!

July (2014) - Rebecca Clark played a critical role in a highly successful Open Soruce for
     Open Science workshop, sponsored by EEB. Great job Rebecca!

Roeder, K.A. and Behmer, S.T. (2014) Lifetime consequences of food protein-carbohydrate content
     for an insect herbivore.
Functional Ecology, early view. [pdf]


Joern, A., Provin, T. and Behmer, S.T. (2012) Not just the usual suspects: Insect herbivore
     populations and communities are associated with multiple plant nutrients.
     Ecology 93, 1002-1015. [pdf]


Behmer, S.T. and Joern, A. (2012) Insect herbivores viewed through a physiological
     framework: insights from Orthoptera. In Insect Outbreaks Revisited (eds. P. Barbosa,
     D.K. Letourneau and A.A. Agrawal), pp 3-29. Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester, U.K. [pdf]


Behmer, S.T. (2009) Insect herbivore nutrient regulation. Annual Review of
54, 165-187. (click here for a free PDF)


Behmer, S.T. and Joern, A. (2008) Coexisting generalist herbivores occupy unique
     nutritional feeding niches. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
105, 1977-1982. [pdf]



For a full list of publications, click here...


To learn about research that is in the news visit our media section...

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