Behavior, ecology, and evolution of herbivorous insects
Dr. Messina studies insect behavior, genetics, and population biology. He is especially interested in the evolution of host ranges among herbivorous insects. For example, which traits are most likely to mediate shifts to new plant species, especially in cases where novel hosts are distantly related to ancestral ones? His lab uses the seed beetle, Callosobruchus maculatus, as a model organism.