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).

Delina Dority, MS Zoology and Physiology

Delina Dority Delina Dority

I received my BS in Biology with a minor in Entomology at UW in spring 2015. I am interested in insect behavior and ecology, particularly in disturbed environments. With support from an NSF GRFP, I am beginning my research into the trophic effects of wind farms, with particular focus on insect pollinators. I received my early field and lab research experience through the Wyoming INBRE program with Dr. Scott Seville at UW Casper working with Coccidia. I accompanied Dr. Scott Shaw (UW) and Dr. Will Robinson (Casper College) to the Ecuadorian cloud forest to research the mating behavior of a newly discovered parasitoid wasp, Napo townsendi. This research was supported by an NSF REU grant and culminated this past summer in my first scientific publication. In summer of 2014, I received a 2nd REU opportunity at the University of Michigan Biological Station where I studied feeding preferences of yellow-bellied sap suckers. This research has been submitted for publication.

Susma Giri, PhD Program in Ecology

Susma Giri Susma Giri

I am a PhD candidate in the Progam in Ecology at the University of Wyoming. I have been working towards understanding the effects of environmental temperatures on the physiology of native bees. With the data collected during my dissertation, I intend to predict the impacts of changing temperatures in bee physiology and use the information obtained towards conservation of these critical pollinators. See my website for more information.

Annie Krueger, BS Zoology

Annie Krueger Annie in the lab

I am currently a senior undergraduate here at the University of Wyoming, majoring in Zoology and double minoring in Chemistry and Molecular Biology. Through a continued internship in the Zoology department and with funding from Wyoming EPSCoR and the Wyoming NASA Space Grant Consortium, I am conducting an independent research project investigating the effects of dietary exposure to imidacloprid on bumble bee activity, metabolism, and cold tolerance. In the summers of 2012-2014, I worked in an environmental toxicology lab facility in Maryland assisting with toxicity testing on beneficial insects, focusing primarily on honey bees. I also worked as an intermediary between field maintenance of honeybee colonies at the University of Maryland Wye Research Center and laboratory testing at Wildlife International. During this time, I collaborated on two separate international ring tests with honey bees: one measuring survival of adults after chronic exposure and the other looking at effects of larval exposure on emergence. In the summer of 2015, I interned at the Bayer Bee Care Center in North Carolina conducting research and leading public tour groups.

Kennan Oyen, PhD Program in Ecology

Kennan Oyen Kennan Oyen

I am interested in the mechanistic bases for physiological responses to extreme temperatures and how these mechanisms can inform our understanding of insect ecology. I have developed methods for assessing critical thermal limits of bumblebees and am interested in how these thermal limits may affect bumblebee distributions and activity patterns across altitude and latitude. I have also long been interested in how insects cope with extremely low temperatures, particularly during overwintering, a topic I began exploring as an undergraduate in Alaska.

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.


Sarah DePaolo, MS Zoology and Physiology, 2015

Sarah DePaolo Sarah DePaolo

Sarah completed her MS in Summer 2015. She studied pollinator abundance and diversity in wind farm developments in southern Wyoming. Her data is helping us to to build a model to inform land managers of landscape determinants of pollinator communities in remote and undersampled areas of Wyoming. She is now back in the south plotting her next move.

Jessica Vogt, MS Zoology and Physiology, 2014

Jessica Howard Jessica in the field

Jessica completed her MS in Spring 2014. Her thesis work centered on the effects of oxygen limitation on tracheal morphology and flight of bumblebees. She is now doing a PhD with Dan Papaj at the University of Arizona.

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