Insect Ecophysiology Lab

Michael Dillon
Zoology and Physiology
Program in Ecology
University of Wyoming

The Dillon Lab

(in alphabetical order)

Michael Dillon, PI

Michael Dillon

I just work here (see the rest of the website for more info).

Sarah DePaolo, MS Zoology and Physiology

Sarah DePaolo Sarah DePaolo

I joined the Dillon lab in May 2013 beginning my research on pollinator abundance and diversity in wind farm developments in southern Wyoming. The data I collect will, in part, allow us to build a model to inform land managers on landscape determinants of pollinator communities in remote and undersampled areas of Wyoming. I completed my undergraduate degree at Johns Hopkins University and have since worked in Rocky Mountain National Park, Waterton Lakes National Park and Oregon State University with wolves, bighorn sheep, boreal toads, elk, and aspen. While my interests are broad and varied, I hope to continue to work with agencies and the public to improve conservation efforts through a better understanding of ecological complexity.

Susma Giri, PhD Program in Ecology

Susma Giri Susma Giri

I received my undergraduate degree in Forestry, from Tribhuvan University, Nepal before joining the Dillon lab as a graduate student in January 2012. As an undergraduate, I studied the feeding ecology of Himalayan serow, a near-threatened goat antelope, in the Annapurna Conservation Area, Nepal. I am broadly interested in understanding the ecological impacts of changing environments and how the organisms can adapt to these changes through modifications in their physiology. My dissertation research focuses on the effects of environmental temperatures on nutritional physiology of bees. Currently, I am measuring how bee parasite loads vary with changing temperatures.

Giri, S., Aryal, A., Koirala, R., Adhikari, B., and Raubenheimer, D. 2011. Feeding ecology and distribution of Himalayan serow (Capricornis thar) in Annapurna Conservation Area, Nepal. World Journal of Zoology 6(1): 80-85.pdf

Annie Krueger, BS Zoology and Chemistry

Annie Krueger

I am currently a senior undergraduate here at the University of Wyoming, double majoring in Chemistry and Zoology. Through a continued internship in the Zoology department, I am conducting an independent research project (funded by Wyoming EPSCoR) investigating the effects of dietary exposure to imidacloprid on the critical thermal minima of bumble bees. In the summer of 2012, I worked in an EPA lab facility in Maryland assisting with toxicity testing of beneficial insects (honey bees, earth worms, lady bird beetles, green lacewings, parasitic wasps) and greenhouse testing on agricultural crops. In the summers of 2013 and 2014, I worked as an intermediary between field maintenance and collection of honeybee colonies and laboratory testing. I worked with the head apiarist at the University of Maryland Wye Research Facility in maintaining over 60 colonies for pollination and testing. During the summer of 2014, I worked with a senior biologist conducting two separate international ring tests on adult chronic exposure and larval emergence toxicity testing.

Kennan Oyen, PhD Program in Ecology

Kennan Oyen

Kennan joins us from Alaska where she worked with Brian Barnes and Todd Sformo on insect freezing tolerance. She is interested in studying impacts of changing climates on overwintering insects.

Kimberly Sheldon, NSF Postdoctoral Fellow

Kimberly Sheldon Kimberly birding

I am an ecologist primarily interested in physiology, biogeography, conservation and natural history. My research goals are to understand the patterns and processes that determine the distribution of species and to use that knowledge to predict impacts of anthropogenic change on species and ecological communities. My current postdoctoral work with Michael Dillon (University of Wyoming) and Van Savage (UCLA) is aimed at integrating population-level variation and climatic variation to predict climate change impacts. In addition to my research on physiological ecology and impacts of climate change, much of my work has focused on natural history of tropical birds and plants. See my website for more information and publications.


Guo Cong, Department of Ecology, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, PRC.

Robert Dudley, Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA

Melanie Frazier, Western Ecology Branch of the EPA, Corvallis, OR

Ray Huey, Department of Biology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Rongsong Liu, Department of Mathematics and Program in Ecology, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY

Jeff Lozier, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL.

Sanjay Sane, National Centre for Biological Sciences, Banglore, India

Brent Sinclair, Department of Biology, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada.

Jamie Strange, USDA-ARS Pollinating Insects Research Unit, Logan UT

Lusha Tronstad, Wyoming Natural Diversity Database, University of Wyoming.

George Wang, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Tubingen, Germany

Yang WeiKang, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi, Xinjiang, PRC.


Jessica Vogt, MS Zoology and Physiology, 2014

Jessica Howard Jessica in the field

I began working in the lab as an undergraduate researcher developing a corrosion caste method for measuring bumblebee tracheal systems. After receiving a BS in Zoology from the University of Wyoming in 2012, I immediately began working on my MS in the Dillon lab. My thesis work focuses on the oxygen limitation hypothesis for insect gigantism. I have found hypermetry of tracheal investment across body size in Bombus impatiens (Vogt and Dillon, 2013) and have measured shifts in tracheole size across among bumblebee sisters from the same nest (Vogt and Dillon, in prep.). Currently, I am interested in the ability of bumblebees to deliver oxygen during flight in reduced atmospheric oxygen levels.

Vogt, J.R. and M.E. Dillon. 2013. Allometric scaling of tracheal morphology among bumblebee sisters (Apidae: Bombus): compensation for oxygen limitation at large body sizes? Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 86(5): 576-587.pdf

Shaha, R.K., Vogt, J.R., Han, C.S., and M.E. Dillon. 2013. A micro-CT approach for determination of insect respiratory volume. Arthropod Structure and Development 42:437-442.pdf

Olivia H.A. Nater, MS Zoology and Physiology, 2014

Olivia completed her MS on the impacts of recent climate change on native bee and plant populations. She is now working for the IUCN in Geneva, Switzerland.

Jonathan Rader, MS Zoology and Physiology, 2014

Jonathan completed his MS looking at morphological diversification and isotopic niches of Cinclodes ovenbirds. He is now a PhD student in Ty Hedrick's lab at UNC.

Christy Bell

Christy Bell Christy SICB 2012

An undergraduate researcher known for her crazy literature searches and intense bee identification skills, Christy occasionally tried to shut down the interlibrary loan system. As an undergraduate researcher in the Dillon lab, Christy worked on seasonal variation in body size of native bees, research she presented at SICB 2012. Since graduating with a BS in Biology, she has worked as a researcher on several large projects researching native bees in agricultural systems.

Brandon Ray Buckio, BS Zoology, 2012

Brandon Buckio Brandon SICB 2012

Brandon graduated with a BS in Zoology with a concentration in ecology. He plans to enroll in a graduate program focusing on conservation ecology, but not before taking some time off to gain some experience doing various internships. His work in the Dillon lab, presented at SICB 2012, focused on allometry of Bombus spiracles.

John Bruno (aka "Brawno"), BS Physiology, 2012

John Bruno

John graduated with Biology and Physiology degrees and is currently an EMT in Casper, Wyoming. While in the lab, he spent the summer helping Olivia in the field. During the summer he chased bees with a net, counted flowers, and processed bee corpses. Besides frolicking in fields chasing after bees and pinning their bodies to styrofoam, he also enjoys the hooligans' sport played by gentlemen-rugby.

Mary Centrella, BS Zoology, 2012

Mary is working with Bryan Danforth and Katja Poveda.

Sadie L. Todd, CLM Intern

Sadie Todd

Sadie graduated from the University of Missouri - Columbia with a BA in Biological Sciences in 2010, and began studying plant-pollinator-antagonist interactions as an undergraduate with Dr. Candace Galen. She investigated how floral volatiles from the alpine wildflower Polemonium viscosum alter Bombus balteatus and Formica neorufibarbas gelida preferences. In 2009, I interned with Drs. Patricia Parker and Sharon Deem from the University of Missouri - St. Louis and the St. Louis Zoo on Plasmodium avian malaria vectors on Galapagos birds. She also started working for Dr. Krissa Skogen from the Chicago Botanic Garden on plant-pollinator interactions and reproductive biology. In 2010, she worked for Drs. Candace Galen and Emmanuel Liscum looking at phototropin genes in Arabadopsis, work I presented at BSA in 2010. After graduation, she began working full time for Drs. Krissa Skogen and Jeremie Fant at the Chicago Botanic Garden. The majority of that work focused on a rare endemic plant, Oenothera harringtonii, and its hawkmoth pollinators. In 2013, she joined the Dillon lab an an intern on the wind farm and pollinators project. In addition to extensive fieldwork (see photo), collating vegetation data and identifying plants, she helped process and identify extensive insect collections and blogged about her internship. Her research interests include animal behavior, mutualism and parasitism, entomology, science outreach and conservation ecology. Sadie is currently ...

Skogen, K., E. Hilpman, S.L.Todd, and J. Fant. 2012. Microsatellite primers in Oenothera haringtonii (Onagraceae), and annual endemic to the shortgrass prairie of Colorado. American Journal of Botany Primer Notes and Protocols in the Plant Sciences 99(8):e313-6. pdf

Last modified: Tue Oct 28, 2014