Our research focuses on insect microbiology, particularly the relationship between insects and their resident microbiota. Specifically, we use the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri, as our primary model system to investigate:

1) Physiological relationships between insects and their endosymbionts, including the contributions of symbionts to insect nutrition and defense responses.

2) Interactions between psyllid endosymbionts and Candidatus Liberibacter asiasticus, the pathogen associated with citrus greening disease.

3) Factors mediating transmission of Ca. Liberibacter asiaticus by its psyllid vector.

4) Characterization of the D. citri immune system.

In addition, we are interested in the nutritional and chemical ecology of tripartite interactions among insects, their host plants, and plant-associated microorganisms.




  • The Pelz-Stelinski Lab currently has an openings available for a PhD Research Assistant. To view a complete position descriptions and application instructions click here.