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Robert F. Mitchell, Ph.D.


  • Ph.D., 2012, Entomology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • M.S., 2008, Entomology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • B.S., 2005, Biology, Duke University


  • BIO230: Biology of Animals
  • BIO332/532: Entomology
  • BIO766: Chemical Ecology

Research Interests

Dr. Mitchell studies the chemical compounds that insects use in defense, navigation, and communication, and how these compounds affect the ecology and evolution of insect species, especially the wood-boring longhorned beetles (family Cerambycidae).  Major areas of research include discovery and field testing of novel compounds, sequencing molecular chemoreceptors, and mapping neural pathways involved in chemoreception.

Selected Recent Publications

  • Mitchell, RF, LP Hall, PF Reagel, DD McKenna, TC Baker, and JG Hildebrand. 2017. Odorant receptors and antennal lobe morphology offer a new approach to understanding the olfactory biology of the Asian longhorned beetle. J. Comp. Physiol. A 203: 99-109. [link]
  • Mitchell, RF, T Curkovic, J Mongold-Diers, L Neuteboom, H-M Galbrecht, A Tröger, J Bergmann, W Francke, and LM Hanks. 2017. Evidence that cerambycid beetles mimic vespid wasps in odor as well as appearance. J. Chem. Ecol. 43: 75-83. [link]
  • Mitchell, RF, PF Reagel, JCH Wong, LR Meier, WD Silva, J Mongold-Diers, JG Millar, LM Hanks. 2015. Cerambycid beetle species with similar pheromones are segregated by phenology and minor pheromone components. J. Chem. Ecol. 41: 431-440. [link]
  • Goldman-Huertas, B, RF Mitchell, RT Lapoint, CP Faucher, JG Hildebrand, and NK Whiteman. 2015. Evolution of herbivory in Drosophilidae linked to loss of behaviors, antennal responses, odorant receptors, and ancestral diet. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 112: 3026-3031. [link]
  • Mitchell, RF, JG Millar, and LM Hanks. 2013. Blends of (R)-3-hydroxyhexan-2-one and alkan-2-ones identified as potential pheromones produced by multiple species of cerambycid beetles. Chemoecol. 23: 121-127. [link]
  • Mitchell, RF, DT Hughes, CW Luetje, JG Millar, F Soriano-Agatón, LM Hanks, and HM Robertson. 2012. Sequencing and characterizing odorant receptors of the cerambycid beetle Megacyllene caryae. Insect Biochem. Mol. Biol. 42: 499-505. [link]

For a full publication list, click here.

by Lippert, Kelly A. last modified Feb 25, 2018 01:22 PM