Lynn Adler


Photograph of First Last
102D Fernald Hall

B.S., Brown University, 1993 Ph.D., University of California at Davis, 2000


University of Arizona, 2000-2001

Research Interests: 

Ecology and Evolution of Insect-Plant Interactions

Although many ecological and evolutionary studies focus on single species or two-species interactions, there is a growing recognition that the factors determining the distribution and abundance of species and the evolution of phenotypic traits can only be understood in the context of multiple interactions. For example, interactions with antagonists and mutualists have historically been studied independently, although plants are often under simultaneous and potentially conflicting selective pressures exerted by both groups. My research integrates plant-animal interactions across mutualisms and antagonisms, including floral, foliar, and belowground tissues, to arrive at a more complete understanding of how multiple species select on resistance and attractive traits. My approach has combined novel techniques and experimental manipulations in the field with greenhouse and laboratory experiments to dissect aspects of this complex empirical question, and involves studies in both basic and applied systems.

Representative Publications: 

Fowler AE, Irwin RE and LS Adler (in review). Pathogen defense mechanisms in solitary and social bees: behavior, immunity, antimicrobials, and microbes. Emerging Topics in Life Sciences.

Davis JK, Aguirre LA, Barber NA, Stevenson PC and LS Adler. 2019. From plant fungi to bee parasites: mycorrhizae and soil nutrients shape floral chemistry and bee pathogens. Ecology: e02801.

LL, §Blinder M, §Grincavitch C, §Jelinek A, §Mann EK, §Merva LA, §Metz LE, §Zhao AY, Irwin RE, McArt SH and LS Adler. 2019. Mechanisms mediating bee pathogen transmission: deposition, persistence and acquisition on flowers. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B 286: 20190603.

LoCascio GM, §Pasquale R, Amponsah E, Irwin RE and LS Adler. 2019. Effect of timing and exposure of sunflower pollen on a common gut pathogen of bumble bees. Ecological Entomology. DOI: 10.1111/een.12751

Boyer MDH and LS Adler. 2019. Variation in pollinator potential to carry a blueberry fungal pathogen and assessment of transfer efficiency in two managed bee species. Journal of Pollination Ecology 25(5): 36-45.

LoCascio GM, Aguirre L, Irwin RE and LS Adler. 2019. Pollen from multiple sunflower cultivars and species reduces a common bumble bee gut pathogen. Royal Society Open Science 6: 190279.

Michaud KM, Irwin RE, Barber NA and LS Adler. 2019. Pre-infection effects of nectar secondary compounds on a bumble bee gut pathogen. Environmental Entomology. doi:10.1093/ee/nvz018

Giacomini JJ, Leslie J, Tarpy DR, Palmer-Young EC, †Irwin RE and †LS Adler. 2018. Medicinal value of sunflower pollen against bee pathogens. Scientific Reports 8: 14394. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-32681-y † equally contributing senior authors • Top 100 read ecology papers for Scientific Reports in 2018

Egan PA, Adler LS, Irwin RE, Farrell IW, Palmer-Young EC and PC Stevenson. 2018. Crop domestication alters floral reward with potential consequences for pollinator health. Frontiers in Plant Science 9: 1357. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2018.01357

Palmer-Young EC, Farrell I, Adler LS, Milano NJ, Egan P, Junker R, Irwin RE and PC Stevenson. 2018. Chemistry of floral rewards: Intra- and interspecific variability of nectar and pollen secondary metabolites across taxa. Ecological Monographs. doi:10.1002/ecm.1335

Soper Gorden NL and LS Adler. 2018. Consequences of multiple flower-insect interactions for subsequent interactions and plant reproduction. American Journal of Botany 105(11): 1835–1846. doi:10.1002/ajb2.1182

Irwin RE, Warren PS and LS Adler. 2018. Phenotypic selection on floral traits in an urban landscape. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B. 285: 20181239.

Adler LS, Michaud KM, Ellner SP, McArt SH, Stevenson PC and RE Irwin. 2018. Disease where you dine: Plant species and floral traits associated with pathogen transmission in bumble bees. Ecology 99(11): 2535–2545. doi: 10.1002/ecy.2503

Karp DS et al. 2018. Crop pests and predators exhibit inconsistent responses to surrounding landscape composition. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. • I am one of 150 co-authors who provided a dataset for this meta-analysis.

Rothchild K, Adler LS, Irwin RE, Sadd BM, Stevenson PC and Palmer-Young EC. 2018. Effects of short-term exposure to naturally occurring thymol concentrations on transmission of a bumble bee parasite. Ecological Entomology.

McArt SH, Urbanowicz CM, McCoshum S, Irwin RE and LS Adler. 2017. Landscape predictors of pathogen prevalence and range contractions in United States bumblebees. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B 284: 20172181.

Palmer-Young EC, Hogeboom A, Kaye AJ, Donnelly D, Andicoechea J, Connon SJ, Skyrm K, Adler LS and RE Irwin. 2017. Context-dependent medicinal effects of anabasine and infection-dependent toxicity in bumble bees. PLoS One. 12(8): e0183729

Tjiurutue MC, Sandler HA, Kersch-Becker MF, Theis N and LS Adler. 2017. Gypsy moth herbivory induced volatiles and reduced parasite attachment to cranberry hosts. Oecologia 185(1): 133-145. DOI: 10.1007/s00442-017-3915-3

Palmer-Young EC, Tozkar CO, Schwarz RS, Liu Y, Irwin RE, Adler LS and JD Evans. 2017. Nectar and pollen phytochemicals stimulate honey bee immunity to viral infection. Journal of Economic Entomology, 1-14. doi: 10.1093/jee/tox193

Doubleday, LAD and LS Adler. 2017. Sex-biased oviposition by a nursery pollinator on a gynodioecious host plant: implications for breeding system evolution and evolution of mutualism. Ecology and Evolution 7(13): 4694-4703

Palmer-Young EC, Sadd BM, Irwin RE, and LS Adler. 2017. Synergistic effects of floral phytochemicals against a bumble bee parasite. Ecology and Evolution. DOI: 10.1002/ece3.2794 (14 pages).

Palmer-Young EC, Sadd BM, and LS Adler. 2016. Evolution of resistance to single and combined floral phytochemicals by a bumble bee parasite. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. doi: 10.1111/jeb.13002 • Recommended by the Peer Community in Evolutionary Biology :

Palmer-Young EC, Sadd BM, Stevenson PC, Irwin RE, and LS Adler. 2016. Bumble bee parasite strains vary in resistance to phytochemicals. Scientific Reports 6: 37087. doi: 10.1038/srep37087

McArt SH, Miles TD, Rodriguez-Saona C, Schilder A, Adler LS and MJ Grieshop. 2016. Floral scent mimicry and vector-pathogen associations in a pseudoflower-inducing plant pathogen system. PLoS One 1(11): e0165761. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0165761

Adler LS, Leege LM and RE Irwin. 2016. Geographic variation in resistance to nectar robbing and consequences for pollination. American Journal of Botany 103: 1819-28.

Tjiurutue MC, Palmer-Young EC, and LS Adler. 2016. Parasite removal, but not herbivory, deters future parasite attachment on tomato. PLoS One 11(8): e0161076. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0161076.

Tjiurutue MC, Stevenson PC, and LS Adler. 2016. Messages from the other side: Parasites receive damage cues from their host plants. Journal of Chemical Ecology 42(8): 821-828. DOI 10.1007/s10886-016-0746-3

Conroy TJ, Palmer-Young EC, Irwin RE and LS Adler. 2016. Food limitation affects parasite load and survival of Bombus impatiens (Hymenoptera: Apidae) infected with Crithidia bombi (Trypanosomatida: Trypanosomatidae). Environmental Entomology. Pages 1-8. DOI 10.1093/ee/nvw099

Carper AL, Adler LS and RE Irwin. 2016. Effects of florivory on plant-pollinator interactions: implications for male and female components of plant reproduction. American Journal of Botany. DOI 10.3732/ajb.1600144

Soper Gorden NL and LS Adler. 2016. Florivory shapes both leaf and floral interactions. Ecosphere 7(6):e01326. 10.1002/ecs2.1326 (15 pages).

Tjiurutue MC, Sandler HA, Kersch-Becker MF, Theis N, and LS Adler. 2016. Cranberry resistance to dodder parasitism: induced chemical defenses and behavior of a parasitic plant. Journal of Chemical Ecology. 42(2): 95-106. DOI 10.1007/s10886-016-0671-5

Boyer MDH, Soper Gorden NL, Barber NA and LS Adler. 2016. Floral damage induces resistance to florivory in Impatiens capensis. Arthropod-Plant Interactions 10(2): 121-31. DOI 10.1007/s11829-015-9411-y

Biller OM, Adler LS, Irwin RE, McAllister C, and EC Palmer-Young. 2015. Possible synergistic effects of thymol and nicotine against Crithidia bombi parasitism in bumble bees. PLoS One 10(12): e0144668.