Kansas State University


Konza Prairie Biological Station


Long Term Ecological Research



Jennifer L. Apple


Former Postdoctoral
Research Associate

Department of Biology
SUNY Geneseo
1 College Circle
Geneseo, NY  14454




Ph.D. 2001, University of Utah, Salt Lake City

B.S. 1994, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA
     Biology (with Honors)


Research interests:  Ecology and evolution of plant-insect interactions, including plant-herbivore interactions; ant-plant mutualisms; ant-herbivore-plant interactions, and tritrophic interactions; speciation; phylogeography; ecology and evolution of host plant specialization of insect herbivores; role of herbivores in primary succession; ecological stoichiometry; insect ecology; tropical ecology

Publications         C.V.

hespI am an assistant professor in the Department of Biology at SUNY Geneseo in western New York. In a project that began when I was a postdoctoral research associate at Kansas State University, I am collaborating with Dr. Tony Joern and Dr. Sam Wisely to reconstruct the history of differentiation in host plant use in the oligophagous grasshopper Hesperotettix viridis. We are analyzing genetic variation in this species using AFLPs, microsatellites, and mitochondrial DNA sequences. Using these molecular data and population genomic analyses, we are contrasting patterns of adaptive and neutral genetic variation to describe past geographic distributions, infer demographic history, and determine the degree to which adaptive divergence contributes to genomic differentiation among host races of Hesperotettix. (For more information on the Hesperotettix project, click here.)

While at KSU, Dr. Joern and I conducted several projects involving insect herbivores at Konza Prairie Biological Station. In one study, we compared insect herbivory and pathogen damage in the common forb, Solidago canadensis (Canada goldenrod), under the rainfall and temperature treatments of the Rainfall Manipulation Plots (RaMPs) at Konza Prairie, which simulate the predicted effects of future climate change. (To see a poster showing data from the first year of this study, click here.) In another project, we examined the effects of grasshopper frass inputs to soil nitrogen pools in ungrazed prairie. (To see a poster describing this study, click here.)

Before coming to Kansas State University, I worked with Dr. John Bishop at Washington State University-Vancouver where we investigated the cause of spatially structured insect herbivory on dwarf lupine (Lupinus lepidus var. lobbii), the principal colonist of primary successional habitat at Mount St. Helens. I also spent a year teaching plant ecology and a nonmajors biology course as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Willamette University (Salem, OR). As a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (Edgewater, MD), I explored the interaction of biotic and abiotic stresses on the growth and reproductive output of a wetland perennial. I earned my PhD at the University of Utah with Dr. Don Feener. For my dissertation, I worked on Barro Colorado Island, Panama, to study how variation in host plant light environment affected the strength and impact of a tropical ant-caterpillar mutualism.