Research Interests
Nathan Egan Rank

I study local adaptation and host plant specialization in insects. My research involves field work, biochemical studies, and molecular systematic approaches. My study organisms are leaf beetles (Chrysomela & Phratora spp.) their host plants, and their natural enemies. In my research, I address the following topics:

Local adaptation in montane leaf beetles
Natural enemies and herbivore host use
Evolution of host plant preference

At present, I am working most intensively on the first topic. I am looking for a graduate student to participate in this research for a Masters' degree, starting in the summer of 1999.


Sources of support

This research has been supported by grants from

  • US National Science Foundation to Nathan Rank and Elizabeth Dahlhoff (1998)
  • White Mountain Research Station to Nathan Rank and several students (1984-1998)
  • Swiss Association of Naturalists to Nathan Rank and Alfred Koepf (1994)


For more information, please click on the links below

Local adaptation in montane leaf beetles (4 pages, or see research summary)


Chrysomela adult on a willow


Big Pine Creek in eastern California

Natural enemies & host plant use (5 pages, or see research summary)


Wasp feeding on a beetle larva


Parasyrphus fly larva eating beetle larvae

Evolution of host plant preference (3 pages, or see research summary)


Head of an adult beetle


Variation in host plant use in Phratora


Nathan Rank's Homepage |Department of Biology | Sonoma State University
January 23, 1999 NER