Dr. Arianne Cease

Dr. Cease is a sustainability scientist with a focus on the ecology and physiology of organisms in coupled natural and human systems. Her research involves interdisciplinary approaches to understanding how human-plant-insect interactions affect the sustainability of agricultural systems. A major focus is on locust plagues and phenotypic plasticity in response to rangeland management practices in China, Australia, and Africa. She is leading a team of biologists and social scientists to investigate the interactions among human behavior, market forces, and ecological systems in situations in which human decisions to overstock and overgraze rangeland alter plant nutrient content, increasing the likelihood of locust outbreaks. A key goal of her research is to improve sustainable ecosystem management and local livelihoods by linking fundamental research on animal physiology and ecology with economic models and policy. acease AT asu DOT edu

Douglas Lawton

Douglas is an Environmental Life Sciences (ELS) PhD student who started in 2016. He comes from North Carolina where he obtained his B.S in biology from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). He is interested broadly in plant-insect interactions and would like to focus on the interactive effects of plant diversity and crowding on locust phase change. He will link this ecophysiology research to socioeconomic factors coupling communities and ecosystems with the overall goal of seeking solutions to locust plagues around the world.

Ruth Farington

Ruth Farington is an undergraduate student at Arizona State University, majoring in microbiology and global health. Her primary interest focuses on developing sustainable methods to combat global health issues. Her research includes exploring organism behavior in relation to water / nutrition trade-offs and the metabolic processes experienced during insect flight. Ruth brings previous experience from an insect physiology, which delved into processes involved in regulating oxygen and performance. Her passion for food security and water availability provides a global output for innovative collaborative laboratory research.

Jenni Learned

Jenni worked as a Research Specialist at Arizona State 2009 to 2016 and was integral to setting up the Cease lab and initiating field campaigns for the Living with Locusts team 2015-2016.  She is now dedicating her talents to enhancing seabird populations as the operations manager and GIS specialist for the Maui Nui Seabird Recovery Project in Maui. Her history in the biological sciences has varied over the years, and includes studies of tidal pool dynamics, innovations in biofuel technology, and protection of endangered species.  At ASU she has facilitated a broad spectrum of research projects; from the stoichiometry of aquatic crustacea to the microclimates of residential landscapes across the country.  She loves getting good data, and also enjoys some GIS and spatial analysis on the side.  She enjoys managing the lab, but her favorite thing about her job is supporting the team, especially for field work.  In the Cease lab she is thrilled to be a part of field campaigns in Senegal, Australia, and China.  Her goals are to make quality science and efficient progress easy and sustainable for the students, faculty, and research scientists that she works for.

Dr. Rick Overson

Dr. Overson's research seeks to understand the mechanisms which produce and maintain variation both within and between species and how this variation ultimately affects the evolution of natural populations. He is particularly interested in variation in insect behavioral phenotypes as they relate to plant-insect interactions. Dr. Overson uses approaches in behavioral ecology, ecology, population genetics, and phylogenomics to understand how traits important for these interactions are partitioned in space and time, and how this mosaic affects speciation and biodiversity.

Deanna Zembrzuski

Deanna is an Environmental Life Sciences (ELS) PhD student who started in 2017. She came to the lab from Illinois where she obtained her MS in Zoology studying phylogenetic relationships in insects. Prior to that she obtained her BS in Biology from Union College, New York where she studied grasshopper respiratory physiology. Deanna is interested in studying the physiology behind locust phase polyphenism, and gaining a better understanding of locust phase polyphenism across all age groups.

Mira Word

Mira’s research interests are related to agroecology and land management under changing climate conditions, specifically looking at opportunities to enhance resilience and ecosystem restoration through addressing soil conditions and biodiversity. Mira has a BA in Global Studies from Arizona State University with minors in Sustainability and Spanish and is currently in the MS Sustainability program. She has done work with non-profits, social enterprises, and farms in South America and well as here in Phoenix.

Natalia Thompson

Natalia is a freshman in the Barrett Honors College at ASU. As a joint Chemistry and Physics major, she brings skill and technique to analyses in the lab, including carbohydrate and protein quantification in plants and soil. Natalia joined the Cease lab while still in high school, and remains a key member of the team despite her busy schedule with classes and ASU marching band.

Lysiane Ruffe

Lysiane is a French student in ISARA-Lyon, an engineering school of agriculture, environment and food science. She is in her third year of five, and this summer she is taking an internship in the Cease laboratory to study the locusts. Her work is to do research about the history and causes of locust outbreaks. She researches the factors (rainfall, temperature…) in relation with the agriculture and land uses to know what increases the plagues aids the development of locusts. She also works with Stephen Rogers, Ruth Farington and Balanding Manneh to help with the locust experiments in the laboratory. After university she will work with the farmers to help them to develop sustainable agriculture, or work in a research center in agronomy to find new techniques of sustainable production.

Dr. Marion Le Gall

Dr. Le Gall has always loved insects, and translated that interest into a career as a nutritional ecologist to study generalist herbivores. Her research seeks to understand how generalists solve the problem of balancing multiple and changing nutrient needs and how it affects their behavior and performance. She likes to use a physiological approach (the Geometric Framework) as a window into mechanisms underlying ecological patterns and processes. The overarching goal of her research is to use these insights to help establish sustainable management programs for herbivorous pests.

Dr. Le Gall is thrilled to be part of the Cease lab and studying grasshoppers again! In the Cease lab, her main mission is to understand the interface between plant management (i.e. farming practices), plant nutrient content (protein and carbohydrates), and locust populations. She will work in Senegal and Australia.

More information about Dr. Le Gall can be found on her personal webpage www.marionlegall.webs.com, or you may contact her at mlegall AT asu DOT edu

Balanding Manneh

Balanding is a MasterCard Scholar from The Gambia, he is majoring in Biological Sciences (Genetics, Cell & Developmental Biology) at Arizona State University. He is part of the SOLUR undergraduate research program and works under the mentorship of Dr. Arianne Cease. His project titled “Linking livestock grazing practices with the nutritional ecology of grasses and locusts in West Africa” is focused on understanding how various livestock grazing and land management practices coupled with the nutritional ecology of grasses can cause locusts outbreaks. Balanding is interested in hunger and food security related issues and how these issues can be tackled sustainably. His passion led him to start an organization called Rural Impact in his home country of The Gambia. Rural Impact works to empower smallholder farmers, mostly women by providing them with support such as seeds, basic financial literacy training etc., to help them start small businesses so as to increase their levels of income and combat hunger.

Caroline Dupuis

Caroline is working in the Cease Laboratory during the summer months of 2015. She comes from France as a five-year MSc Program student in the Engineering School of Agriculture, Food Science and Environment Studies in Lyon (ISARA). She likes agriculture and thus tries to find a way to protect the farmers and their productions, while also protecting the landscapes and the Earth. She worked in two different organic farms during the past two summers. She will soon begin her fourth year at ISARA and is discovering how the work is done in a laboratory and in relation to agriculture. In the Arianne Cease Laboratory, her main mission is to help other people on their experiences, and with the locusts nutrition. After that, she will work to find the factors that cause the outbreaks of criquets (temperature, rainfall, crop species, climate, locust species, etc).

Baoming Du

Baoming Du is a visiting Ph D student, from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China. His research focuses on the stoichiometry of plants and insects under climate change, as well as plant-insect interactions. He is currently exploring the effects of an endophytic fungi on plant growth and resulting insect herbivore performance. His passion is to improve crop quality and reduce the use of pesticides in agriculture.

Grant Falvo

Grant Falvo is an undergraduate in the School of Sustainability and the College of Integrated Sciences and Arts. He is broadly interested in understanding the human ecological niche. Taking an interdisciplinary approach to the study of social-ecological systems, he incorporates research from complex adaptive systems, common pool resource and institutional analysis, and agroecology into queries of food system sustainability. Currently, he is using theories and frameworks from transboundary and adaptive governance, resilience, and robustness research to understand the response of relevant institutions from Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay to the recent locust plague.