Robert L. Snyder


Robert L. Snyder Ph.D. Associate Professor

SUNY Potsdam Biology Department 44 Pierrepont Ave. Potsdam, NY. 13676

My biological interests center around the ecology and evolution of insects, one the most successful group of organisms on the planet. In particular, I'm interested in the relationship between plant-feeding insects and the host-plants, in which they feed. Such insect’s life histories are restricted to their host-plant and provide excellent opportunities to study reproductive isolating barriers caused by habitat and behavioral variation. Using a combination of molecular genetics and behavioral experimentation my lab studies these barriers in order to better understand the complex relationships involved in the divergence or maintenance of species.

My undergraduate degree, in Biology and Ecology, led me down the path to graduate school. Where I studied Entomology and Applied Ecology at the University of Delaware. My research on chemical ecology of the European Corn Borer focused on chemicals that deter oviposition of this pest species. Upon completion of my Master’s of Science I shifted my interest to molecular phylogenetics and a charismatic group of insects named treehoppers, a common name for the insect family Membracidae. This work was the focus of my Ph.D. research, at the University of Missouri and continues to steer my research today.

As and ecologist and a geneticist I'm involved in both Ecology and Genetics courses here at SUNY Potsdam, as well as, the General biology series. I teach upper division courses in Molecular Ecology, Speciation and Population Genetics; also I teach Human Genetics and BIOL 101 (Evolution and Ecology) at the non-majors level.

Lave tube Mt St Helens

Lava casts Mt St. Helens National Volcanic Monument


curriculum vitae

Biology department website