David W. McNutt


Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow

Underwood Lab, Florida State University

Evolutionary Ecology of Plant-Insect Interactions




Research interests:  I study the effects of environmental heterogeneity on the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of organisms, and how phenotypic plasticity mediates these effects.  For my dissertation, I studied how plasticity in plant defenses, which include induced chemical/physical defenses and tolerance, is under selection by insect herbivores. Specifically, I examined whether the evolution of these defenses in the perennial weed Solanum carolinense is constrained by costs of plasticity, genetic correlations, or trade-offs involving resistance to multiple herbivores.


I am currently how variation in competitor density and frequency affects various aspects of Solanum carolinense reproduction, including pollinator visitation, seed production, and biomass.


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