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We are in the Dept of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Dept of Entomology at Cornell University. Our lab studies the ecology and evolution of plant-insect interactions, including aspects of herbivory, community ecology, defense theory, phenotypic plasticity, Chemical Ecology, and coevolution. Research projects include work on local biodiversity, invasive species, milkweeds, and Monarch butterflies. See also the Cornell Chemical Ecology Group and welcome video.


Gordon Conference – Cornell connections: March 12, 2017
by Anurag Agrawal

The women of Cornell’s plant-herbivore group (Jennifer, Natasha, Zoe, Katja, Katie, Lina, and Aino) recently returned from the plant-herbivore interactions gordon research conference. Pictures below by Jennifer Thaler.  As usual, Jennifer described the GRC as a love-fest, seeing old friends Continue reading Gordon Conference – Cornell connections


The importance of academic service in research communities: March 10, 2017
by Lina Arcila-Hernandez

By Lina Arcila Hernández and Katie Holmes In recent conversations mulling over the history of science, we’ve talked about a shift in the social environment that scientists     experience. It seems that historically, scientific knowledge has been built by Continue reading The importance of academic service in research communities


Jigsaw #3 – Specialists vs. Generalists: March 8, 2017
by Anurag Agrawal

Last week in the Plant-Interactions-Group we had our 3rd JIGSAW session. Our topic was specialists vs. generalists in plant-herbivore interactions.  I was inspired to cover this topic because it is a persistent issue, one that has been discussed widely in Continue reading Jigsaw #3 – Specialists vs. Generalists


The oldest butterfly?: March 3, 2017
by Anurag Agrawal

It’s unclear when humans became humans.  Presumably it was a gradual growth of our consciousness over the eons.  There are some things, however, that appear to distinguish us from most other animals.  For example, our artistic depictions.  From the deepest, Continue reading The oldest butterfly?


Winter Walk 2017 #2:
by Anurag Agrawal

Last week, late in February, it was nearly 70F in Ithaca, NY.  Buds were breaking, as were temperature records.  I heard a lecture yesterday that projected that this spring would be 2-3 weeks early compared to 2012, which previously held the record as Continue reading Winter Walk 2017 #2


Monarch population size over winter 2016-2017 announced!: February 10, 2017
by Anurag Agrawal

The estimates of the monarch butterfly overwintering population were announced Thursday February 9th by WWF Mexico.  The butterflies are so dense at their dozen or so mountain-top clustering sites that overwintering butterflies cannot be counted.  Instead, the area of forest Continue reading Monarch population size over winter 2016-2017 announced!


PIG: The jigsaw experiment: February 9, 2017
by Anurag Agrawal

Cornell’s Plant-Insect Group, affectionately known as PIG, has been meeting for weekly discussions every semester for at least 12 years.  In the old days, Paul Feeny and Dick Root would join us for inspiring discussions, merging the past with the Continue reading PIG: The jigsaw experiment


Where do monarch butterflies come from?: February 7, 2017
by Anurag Agrawal

The plight of monarch butterflies is often in the news and many scientists around the world are working hard to understand their annual migratory cycle.  How do the monarchs produced during summer in the northern reaches of America contribute to Continue reading Where do monarch butterflies come from?


Winter Walks 2017 #1: February 4, 2017
by Anurag Agrawal

Winter Walks are a tradition of the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department at Cornell University, started by Professor Peter Marks in the 1970s.  Winter walks grew out of the teaching of Plant Ecology field labs (taught in the fall), as students Continue reading Winter Walks 2017 #1


Monarch book!: January 31, 2017
by Anurag Agrawal

My new book, Monarchs and Milkweed, a highly illustrated popular science book will be available in late March from Princeton University Press.   Here is what Carl Safina, author of Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel, says: It’s impossible to Continue reading Monarch book!


Welcome to the new lab page!:
by Anurag Agrawal

Hi folks! Welcome to the revised landing page, with the added benefit of blog posts.  You’ll see posts related to interesting ecology and evolutionary biology, monarch butterflies, and and our plant-insect interactions weekly discussions here.  For this first post, I simply Continue reading Welcome to the new lab page!