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Kristin R Duffield

Research Entomologist


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CONTACT

Phone: (309) 681-6231

Fax: 309-681-6693

Room: 3101B

 

USDA ARS NCAUR

1815 N University

Peoria, IL 61604

EDUCATION

PhD, Behavior, Ecology, Evolution and Systematics, Illinois State University, 2018

BS, Biology, Illinois State University, 2012

RESEARCH INTERESTS

I am broadly interested in exploring the microorganisms that infect and harm insects while concurrently assessing how insect hosts respond to infection (e.g., changes in behavior, immunity, survival). During my Ph.D., I was trained as an evolutionary ecologist with a focus on life history theory, specifically exploring the biotic and abiotic factors that may shift plastic (or, flexible) life history traits (e.g., reproduction). Throughout my career, I have measured host response using a suite of behavioral, physiological, and immunological techniques in order to build on our current understanding of how insects deal with infection.
During my postdoc at the USDA (under the supervision of Dr. Robert Behle), my primary research focus is to improve the efficacy of alternative non-chemical biopesticides against agricultural insect pests, primarily working with entomopathogenic fungus and viruses that target Lepidopterans (e.g., moths).

CURRENT RESEARCH

Project 1: Alongside Dr. Robert Behle and lab members, I am working to optimize production and formulation methods for entomopathogenic fungi and viruses that target Lepidopteran pests. Specifically, we are developing methods that optimize yield and virulence (or, the ability to infect and damage the insect) of the microorganisms during the production phase as well as methods that enhance the biological activity, storage ability, and field efficacy during the formulation phase.

Project 2: In collaboration with Dr. José Luis Ramirez and his lab members, I am working to identify and describe a recently detected microbial pathogen isolated from a population of lab-reared crickets (Gryllodes sigillatus), a beneficial species common in the pet-trade industry. Results from these analyses will guide future screening and treatment methods to assist those who rely on healthy insect cultures in research and industrial fields. Additionally, we are exploring this pathogen’s host specificity, particularly focusing on other commercially popular (e.g., Acheta domesticus house cricket) and agriculturally important (e.g., locusts) Orthopterans.

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LAB MEMBERS:

Currently working in the laboratory of Dr. Robert Behle.

COLLABORATION / COOPERATION:

National:

             Ben Sadd (Illinois State University)

             Scott Sakaluk (Illinois State University)

             Anne-Katrin Eggert (Illinois State University)

             E. Keith Bowers (University of Memphis)

Foreign:

             John Hunt (Western Sydney University)

             Thomas Houslay (University of Cambridge)

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS:

            Society for Invertebrate Pathology

            European Society for Evolutionary Biology

            Phi Sigma Biological Honors Society

HONORS and AWARDS:

Total funding received as a graduate student (2013 – 2018) = $22,200

2019

  • Outstanding Ph.D. student, School of Biological Sciences, Illinois State University (ISU)
  • Cheung, Brown, Phi Sigma Award for Best Student Publication, ISU
  • School of Biological Sciences nominee for the University’s Clarence W. Sorensen Distinguished Dissertation Award, ISU

2018

  • ISU’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT)® 1st place award
  • ISU’s 3MT® People’s Choice award (https://goo.gl/sfzaAC)
  • RD Weigel Research Grant, Phi Sigma, ISU
  • International Society for Behavioral Ecology (ISBE) travel grant
  • 1st place oral presentation, Phi Sigma Research Symposium, ISU
  • R Omar Rilett Trust for Scholarships and Research travel grant, ISU

2017

  • Godfrey Hewitt Mobility Award, European Society for Evolutionary Biology
  • Grant-in-Aid of Research, Sigma Xi
  • RD Weigel Research Grant, Phi Sigma, ISU
  • R Omar Rilett Trust for Scholarships and Research travel grant, ISU
  • National Phi Sigma Society student research travel grant

2016

  • EL Mockford and CF Thompson summer research fellowship, ISU
  • Dissertation Completion Grant, Graduate School, ISU
  • Animal Behavior Society student research grant
  • RD Weigel Research Grant, Phi Sigma, ISU
  • Grant-in-Aid of Research, Sigma Xi
  • Outstanding Ph.D. Teaching Assistant, School of Biological Sciences, ISU

2015

  • Theodore J Cohn Research Fund, The Orthopterist’s Society
  • RD Weigel Research Grant, Phi Sigma, ISU
  • 2nd place oral presentation, Phi Sigma Research Symposium, ISU

2014

  • RD Weigel Research Grant, Phi Sigma, ISU

2013

  • RD Weigel Research Grant, Phi Sigma, ISU
  • Outstanding BSC 101 Teaching Assistant Award, ISU

INVITED CONFERENCES AND SEMINARS

Invited seminars

Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL, 2019, When resistance is futile: Exploring the terminal investment hypothesis in a gift-giving cricket species

Purdue University Northwest, Hammond, IN, 2019, When resistance is futile: Exploring the terminal investment hypothesis in a gift-giving cricket species

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, 2019, When resistance is futile: Exploring the terminal investment hypothesis in a gift-giving cricket species

Millikin University, Decatur, IL, 2017, Give it all we got tonight? A dynamic terminal investment threshold in male crickets

Other select presentations

Duffield, KR, KJ Hampton, TM Houslay, J, Rapkin, J Hunt, SK Sakaluk, & BM Sadd (17th Annual Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, 2019) When resistance is futile: Age determines host reproductive effort under infection threat

Duffield, KR (Midwestern regional Three Minute Thesis® competition, Grand Rapids, MI, 2018) When resistance is futile: Exploring terminal investment in crickets

Duffield, KR, KJ Hampton, TM Houslay, J Hunt, BM Sadd, & SK Sakaluk (17th Congress of the International Society for Behavioral Ecology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 2018) Immune experience interacts with host genotype in eliciting terminal investment

Duffield, KR, SK Sakaluk, & BM Sadd (Jacques Monod conference: Open questions in disease ecology and evolution: from basic research to evolutionary medicine, Roscoff, France, 2017) Immune experience interacts with host genotype in eliciting terminal investment

Duffield, KR, J Hunt, TM Houslay, J Rapkin, SK Sakaluk, BM Sadd (16th Congress of the International Society for Behavioral Ecology (ISBE), University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom, 2016) Give it all we got tonight? A dynamic terminal investment threshold in male crickets

Duffield, KR, J Hunt, TM Houslay, J Rapkin, SK Sakaluk, & BM Sadd (Animal Behavior Conference, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, 2016) Give it all we got tonight? A dynamic terminal investment threshold in male crickets

Duffield, KR, J Rapkin, J Hunt, BM Sadd, & SK Sakaluk (Animal Behavior Conference, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, 2015) Terminal investment in the gustatory appeal of male decorated cricket nuptial food gifts

Duffield, KR, J Rapkin, J Hunt, BM Sadd, & SK Sakaluk (Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Research Symposium, West Palm Beach, FL, 2015) Terminal investment in the gustatory appeal of male decorated cricket nuptial food gifts

Publications Indexed by Google Scholar

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