Alina Avanesyan
Among the redwoods -- Muir Woods

October 11, 2018

Review paper published!

My systematic review and meta-analysis on feeding preferences of acridid grasshoppers on native vs. introduced plants has just been published in Plants, Special Issue “Plants Interacting with other Organisms: Insects”. more

September 8, 2018

Summer News!

Summer is over. It was a busy Summer - full of interesting work, trips, and a lot of writing. Looking back, I’m happy to share a few highlights. more

May 7, 2018

Maryland Day in pictures

We spent a wonderful time on campus celebrating our annual Maryland Day! I was really impressed how well everything was organized and how many things there were to do with friends and family, and of course with little and not so little kids. more

April 20, 2018

My first adventures in the aquatic world

Being almost exclusively ‘terrestrial’ person in my research it has been quite an interesting experience for me to “get wet” with both Dr. Lamp’s lab and his Aquatic Entomology class. more

April 19, 2018

Exploring family-friendly places in Maryland

If not every weekend, but at least every other weekend we try to get out to a new place with our growing little one. more

January 20, 2018

Starting a postdoc at the University of Maryland

I’ve just started as a Postdoctoral Associate at the Department of Entomology at the University of Maryland! more

October 20, 2017

Week 5 of Planting Science program

It has been 5 weeks of Planting Science program and my online mentorship of high school students teams in their plant investigations. more

October 4, 2017

New (or old?) mode of transport for invasive species

Carlton et al. Science 29 Sep 2017: ”..We document 289 living Japanese coastal marine species from 16 phyla transported over 6 years on objects that traveled thousands of kilometers across the Pacific Ocean more

July 29, 2017

Yet another trip to Colorado

Last week I spent in Colorado Springs at the Digging Deeper Summer Professional Development workshop which is part of my Planting Science fellowship I received earlier this year. more

May 10, 2017

Our GenBank submission has just been approved!

Our GenBank submission has just been approved! Here it is: more

April 21, 2017

Three poster presentations of my students. Great job, guys!

Today my students presented their molecular biology term projects at 4th Annual Grand View Scholarship Symposium. Very exciting! more

March 10, 2017

Paper published in Insects!

My paper from my postdoctoral work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has been just published in Insects, in special issue “Invasive insect species more

December 16, 2016

My last dissertation chapter is published! Now I can retire...

It will be included in January issue of The Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society: more

August 28, 2016

Started working at Grand View University

I am very excited to join Department of Biology at Grand View University in Des Moines, IA as an adjunct Genetics Instructor! more

March 2, 2014

More Media Coverage

Another story about my research on plant DNA detection from grasshopper gut contents has been just published in India! more

February 8, 2014

Another paper published!

My protocol paper just came out in the February issue of Applications in Plant Sciences! more

December 28, 2013

Plant DNA detection from grasshopper gut contents... published!

My paper “Plant DNA detection from grasshopper gut contents: a step-by-step protocol, from tissues preparation to obtaining plant DNA sequences” has just been accepted for publication in Applications in Plant Sciences! more

November 28, 2013

First place at ESA meeting in Austin, TX

Last week I presented my research project on molecular confirmation of insect diet at the Annual Meeting of Entomological Society of America in Austin, TX (November, 2013) and won the first place in the Graduate Student Ten-Minute Paper Competition in the plant-insect interaction section! more

March 20, 2013

Second place at ESA Eastern Branch

Yesterday I presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Branch of the Entomological Society of America and won second place in the PhD student oral competition! more

January 8, 2013

How to build a cage

Last summer I started my grasses/grasshoppers feeding experiments in the field. The main problem I had to solve was building the cages. more

January 7, 2013

The board is your friend! (part 2)

I liked the idea of writing a lab flow on the board so much, that soon I started to add “Next lab assignment” rubric as well. As I usually need all space on the board during the lab, more

December 17, 2012

The board is your friend!

I teach biology labs. Our typical lab usually includes a short lecture, a discussion about homework (so called pre-labs), a wet lab (i.e., an experiment), and exercises or answering questions. more

November 21, 2012

Student evaluations

At the end of each semester I receive students evaluations. It was a very difficult moment for me when I had just started teaching in the US. Mostly because there is no such thing as students evaluations in my native country. more

November 17, 2012

Would you be so kind...

In my very first evaluation that I received from my students here in the US I saw this comment: she is very straightforward. I wasn’t sure what that meant. more

October 29, 2012

Professor Sprout: How this blog started

At first this blog was anonymous. It lived at – an address which captured my attachment to biology and, yes, the Harry Potter books. Eventually I decided to move it to this new website that has a more formal name. But I’m keeping my first post unchanged – with all its Harry Potter references – for the sake of a little bit of magic. more