Alina Avanesyan
Among the redwoods -- Muir Woods

Research Projects


Novel plant-insect associations; implications of the lack of coevolution

In my current postdoctoral work at the University of Maryland (Department of Entomology; Dr. Bill Lamp’s lab) I continue my research on ecology and evolution of plant-insect interactions with a focus on novel associations between native and introduced species... exit_to_appgo to project page


Biology and distribution of invasive Drosophila suzukii in raspberry

In my postdoctoral research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison I focused on biology and distribution of the invasive spotted wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii in raspberry. I coordinated a multi-state bait comparison project for determining optimal attractants for D. suzukii... exit_to_appgo to project page


Interactions between native and exotic grasses and generalist insect herbivores

In my Ph.D. dissertation at the University of Cincinnati I explored the interactions between insect herbivores and their host plants within the context of invasion ecology. Specifically, I was interested in the potential impact of generalist insects on the successful spread of exotic plants. Using a grasses-grasshoppers model... exit_to_appgo to project page


Microsatellite motif study

During my doctoral studies at Cincinnati, I was also involved in microsatellite motif study conducted in Dr. Theresa Culley’s lab. Microsatellites, also known as simple sequence repeats (SSR) or short tandem repeats (STR), are typically defined as repeated sequences of 1-6 bases found throughout the nuclear and plastid genomes of eukaryotes... exit_to_appgo to project page


Phylogenetic relationships of the Sarcophagidae (Diptera)

I conducted this project in Dr. Ron DeBry’s lab at the beginning of my doctoral program at the University of Cincinnati. Flies of the Sarcophagidae family are known as forensically important insects; that is why studies of their identification and systematic relationships are critically important. The phylogenetic analysis which included mtDNA (COI, COII and ND4) provided good resolution for most nodes... exit_to_appgo to project page


Genetic variation in littoral snail populations

I worked on this project while I was a part-time researcher at the Institute of Cytology, RAS in St. Petersburg, Russia. I worked at the Laboratory of Cell Biology in Culture under the direction of Dr. Natalia Mikhailova. The project was on molecular phylogeny and ecological adaptations of the Cerastoderma and the Littorina snails collected in the intertidal zone of North-European region... exit_to_appgo to project page


Cellular immune responses of pulmonate snails to infection by trematodes

The focus of my Candidate of Science dissertation was cellular immune response of Biomphalaria snails to infection by Echinostoma trematodes. Biomphalaria snails are freshwater pulmonate snails, native to Caribbean and South America. In my research, I used two species, B. glabrata and B. pfeifferi... exit_to_appgo to project page