Alison Bockoven

Center for Insect Science
E-mail: abockoven@email.arizona.edu
Phone: 520-621-4844
Office: 641H Marley Building
Lab: BioSciences West 409A
Mail: Department of Entomology
University of Arizona
410 Forbes Building
Tucson AZ 85721

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Research Interests

Research Interests

I am an insect ecologist broadly interested in the causes and consequences of intraspecific variation. During my graduate work, I investigated genetic and environmental factors affecting colony-level differences in foraging behavior of the red imported fire ant. I found that differences in colony behavior persisted over time and across contexts and significantly impacted the performance, growth, and ecological impacts of the colony. I further implicated a heritable genetic component to colony behavior and demonstrated that higher colony foraging and activity levels correlated with increased expression of a protein kinase.

In my postdoctoral work, I am studying variation in the effects and distribution of the endosymbiont Rickettsia in populations of its whitefly host. By exploring how host nuclear background, population structure, and plant-herbviore interactions affect the conditional fitness benefits of this widespread endosymbiont, I hope to generate a more comprehensive picture of the complex web of interactions that create the dynamic interactions between hosts and symbionts in nature.