Principal Investigator


Dr. Jennifer Thaler, Professor

Graduate Students

                                               Zoe Getman-Pickering


I am interested in tri-trophic interactions between plants, herbivorous insects, and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). My research focuses on how mycorrhizae and environmental factors affect a plant’s susceptibility and resistance strategies to herbivory. I have also developed an app to measure herbivory quickly and accurately. Read more here.

                                                                  Nicholas Aflitto

I am broadly interested in sensory ecology. Currently I am studying the non-consumptive effects of predator-prey interactions, where fear of predation induces a defensive response in prey causing behavioral and physiological changes. My specific goals are to quantify these effects in agricultural systems and to learn more about their ecological function and impact on crop damage.

   Julie Davis

I am interested in multi-species drivers of plant trait evolution. My research looks at how antagonists and mutualists simultaneously shape anti-herbivore defense and pollinator attraction strategies.



Research Associate

Dr. Todd Ugine
Image result for todd ugine cornell

Undergraduate Students

  George Stack


My current work in the Thaler lab focuses on mycorrhizal symbiosis with plants, and induced plant defense chemistry. More broadly, I am interested in exploring creative ways to improve plants and agriculture through breeding and genetics.


Ari Grele
Fiona MacNeill
George Stack
Sheyla Finkner
Abby Dittmar
Jose Rangel
Shayla Lugay


Undergraduate Alumni
Danielle Rutkowski
Marina Mann
Molly Walker
Eugenia Wang
Rachel Norris
Dan Pearlstein
Deidra Wirakusumah



Dr. Natasha Tigreros, University of Arizona
Dr. Will Wetzel, University of Michigan
Dr. Ian Kaplan, Purdue University
Dr. Cesar Rodriguez-Saona, Rutgers University
Dr. Scott McArt, Cornell University
Dr. Ian Scott, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada
Dr. Suzie Claflin
Dr. Mônica Kersch-Becker
Sara Herman, MS.