Don Cipollini, Jr., Ph.D.

Biological Sciences
Professor, Biological Sciences
Biological Sciences Bldg 203, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy., Dayton, OH 45435-0001


  • Pennsylvania State University, 1997, Ph.D. Ecology, Advisor: Jack C. Schultz
  • Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 1990, B.S., 1993, M.S. Biology, Advisor: Sandra J. Newell

Postgraduate Research

University of Chicago, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Mentor, Joy M. Bergelson

Academic Appointments

Director (2007-2023)
Wright State University, Environmental Sciences Ph.D. program

Professor, (2008-present)
Wright State University, Department of Biological Sciences

Associate Professor (2004-2008) 

Assistant Professor (1999-2004)

Research Statement

Work in my laboratory generally focuses on understanding the mechanistic basis and outcomes of the interaction of plants with their abiotic and biotic environment. A historical focus has been on induced plant responses to herbivores and pathogens and the ecology of invasive plants, insects, and microbes. Within this context, our interests range from highly mechanistic descriptions of constitutive and inducible plant defenses and their impacts on other species and plant fitness, to evolution of plant defenses, to community level impacts.  We have extended our understanding of plant resistance mechanisms to understand invasiveness and impacts of plants like garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata). Recent efforts have focused on the lethal effects of this plant on native herbivores, like West Virginia White (Pieris virginiensis) and Falcate Orangetip (Anthocharis midea) butterflies, but we've also looked at fungal and microbial pathogens of this plant that appear to serve as natural biocontrols. Our interests have extended to the expression and role of plant defenses in woody plant ecology, including that of the invasive shrub, Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii) and interactions between the invasive beetle, the Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis), and its susceptible and resistant ash (Fraxinus) tree hosts. In 2014, we identified white fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus) as a novel host of this beetle in North America, and are currently exploring the causes and consequences of this apparent host range expansion.  Cultivated olive, Olea europea, is a current focus in that regard. We have worked experimentally with bacteria, fungi, insects, and plants, and use a variety of techniques including basic experimental greenhouse and field ecology techniques, as well as laboratory techniques including the extraction and analysis of plant defenses. Other general interests include prairies and old growth forests, big trees, and wild nature, in general.


Peterson, D., and D. Cipollini. 2021. Attack dynamics and impacts of emerald ash borer on wild white fringetree populations. Biological Invasions 24: 9-15.

Friedman, M.S., C.M. Rigsby, D. Cipollini. 2021 Light influences growth but not constitutive and jasmonate induced defenses relevant to emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) in white fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus) and black ash (Fraxinus nigra). Journal of Chemical Ecology, 46: 1117–1130

Agerbirk, N. C.C. Hansen, C. Kiefer, T.P. Hauser, M. Ørgaard, C. Bruun Asmussen Lange, D.   Cipollini, M.A. Koch. 2020. Comparison of glucosinolate diversity in the crucifer tribe Cardamineae and the remaining order Brassicales highlights repetitive evolutionary loss and gain of biosynthetic steps. Phytochemistry, 185, 112668.

Agerbirk N., C.C. Hansen, C.E. Olsen, C. Kiefer, T.P. Hauser, S. Christensen, K.R. Jensen, M. Ørgaard, D.I. Pattison, C. Bruun Asmussen Lange, D. Cipollini, M.A. Koch. 2020.       Glucosinolate profiles and phylogeny in Barbarea compared to other tribe Cardamineae (Brassicaceae) and Reseda (Resedaceae), based on a library of ion trap HPLC-MS/MS spectra of reference desulfoglucosinolates. Phytochemistry, 185, 112658.

Bonello, P. Campbell, F.T., Cipollini, D., Conrad, A.O., et al. 2020. Invasive Tree Pests Devastate Ecosystems— A Proposed New Response Framework. Frontiers in Forests and Global Change ISSN: 2624-893X

Peterson, D. L., K. Boroczky, J. Tumlinson, and D. Cipollini. 2020.  Ecological fitting: chemical profiles of plant hosts provide insights on selection cues and preferences for a major Buprestid pest. Phytochemistry 176: 112397

Peterson, D. L., B. Slager, A. Anulewicz, and D. Cipollini. 2020. Feeding, survival, and   fecundity of adult emerald ash borer (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) on foliage of two novel    hosts and implications for host range expansion. Environmental Entomology: 1- 7

Ellison, E. A., D. L. Peterson, and D. Cipollini. 2020. The fate of ornamental white fringetree through the invasion wave of emerald ash borer and implications for novel host use by this beetle. Environmental Entomology 49: 489-495. 

Cipollini, D., Davis, S., Lieurance, D., Cipollini, K., & Bahn, V. (2020). Biogeographic variation in resistance of the invasive plant, Alliaria Petiolata, to a powdery mildew fungus and effect of resistance on competitive dynamics. Biological Invasions. 22: 1657– 1668

Peterson, D. L., and D. Cipollini. 2020. L Larval performance of a major forest pest on novel  hosts and the effect of stressors. Environmental Entomology: 1-7    

 Weidenhamer JD1Montgomery TM2Cipollini DF3Weston PA4Mohney BK J Chem Ecol. 2019. Plant density and rhizosphere chemistry: Does marigold root exudate composition respond to intra- and interspecific competition? Journal of Chemical   Ecology 45:525-533\

Woods, MJ, Roberson E., Cipollini D, and Rua MA. 2019. White-tailed deer and an invasive shrub facilitate faster carbon cycling in a forest ecosystem. Forest Ecology and   Management. 488: 104-111.

Rigsby, C.M., Villari, C., Peterson, D.L., Herms, D.A., Bonello, P., and D. Cipollini.. 2018. Girdling increases survival and growth of emerald ash borer larvae on Manchurian ash. Agricultural and Forest Entomology,

Cipollini, D. and D.L. Peterson. 2018. The potential for host switching via ecological fitting in the emerald ash borer-host plant system. Oecologia,

Rigsby, C.M., McCartney, N.B. Tumlinson, J.H., Herms, D.A., and D. Cipollini. 2017. Variation in the volatile profiles of black and Manchurian ash in relation to emerald ash borer oviposition preferences. Journal of Chemical Ecology 43:831-842  DOI 10.1007/s10886-017-0873-5

Cipollini, D., C.M. Rigsby, and D.L. Peterson. 2017. Feeding and development of emerald ash borer on cultivated olive, Olea europaea. Journal of Economic Entomology 110: 1935–1937

Peterson, D.L. and D. Cipollini, 2017. Distribution, predictors, and impacts of emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis, Coleoptera: Buprestidae) infestation of white fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus). Environmental Entomology 46: 50-57

 Lombardero M.J., Ayres, M.P., Bonello, P. Cipollini, D., and D.A. Herms 2016. Effects of defoliation and site quality on growth and defenses of Pinus pinaster and P. radiata. Forest Ecology and Management 382-39-50.

  Olsen CEHuang XCHansen CICipollini DØrgaard MMatthes AGeu-Flores FKoch MAAgerbirk N. 2016. Glucosinolate diversity within a phylogenetic framework of the tribe Cardamineae (Brassicaceae) unraveled with HPLC-MS/MS and NMR-based analytical distinction of 70 desulfoglucosinolates. Phytochemistry. 132:33-56. doi: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2016.09.013

Davis, S.L. and D. Cipollini. 2016. Range, genetic diversity, and future of the threatened butterfly, Pieris virginiensis.  Insect Conservation and Diversity, 9: 506-516

Cipollini, K., Lavretsky, P., Cipollini, D. and J. Peters. 2016. Genetic population structure across the range of endangered northeastern bulrush, Scirpus ancistrochaetus. International Journal of Plant Sciences, 167-67-78.

Rigsby, C.M., Herms, D.A., Bonello, P., and D. Cipollini. 2016.  Higher activities of defense-associated enzymes may contribute to greater resistance of Manchurian ash to emerald ash borer than a closely related and susceptible congener. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 42:782-792.

Thiemann, D., Lopez, V., Ray, A., and D. Cipollini. 2016. The history of attack and success of emerald ash borer (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) on white fringetree in Southwestern Ohio. Environmental Entomology: nvw073

Davis, S., and D. Cipollini. 2016. Evidence for use of Alliaria petiolata in North America by the European cabbage white butterfly, Pieris rapae" Psyche,

Cipollini, D, and K. Cipollini. 2016. A review of garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) as an allelopathic plant. Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 143: 339-348

Lieurance, D., S. Chakraborty, S. R. Whitehead, J. R. Powell, P. Bonello, M. D. Bowers, and D. Cipollini. 2015. Comparative herbivory rates and secondary metabolite profile in the leaves of native and non-native Lonicera species. Journal of Chemical Ecology 41: 1069-1079

Davis, S.L., T. Frisch, N. Bjarnholt, and D. Cipollini. 2015. How does garlic mustard lure and kill the West Virginia White butterfly? Journal of Chemical Ecology DOI: 10.1007/s10886 015-0633-3

Villari, C., D.A. Herms, J.G.A. Whitehill, D.F. Cipollini and P. Bonello 2015. Progress and gaps in understanding mechanisms of ash resistance to emerald ash borer, a model for wood boring insects that kill angiosperm trees. (Invited Tansley Review.). New Phytologist - DOI:10.1111/nph.13604.

Cipollini, D. and C.M. Rigsby. 2015. Incidence of infestation and larval success on emerald ash borer on white fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus), Chinese fringetree (Chionanthus retusus), and devilwood (Osmanthus americanus). Environmental Entomology DOI: 10.1093/ee/nvv112

Rigsby, C.M. Showalter, D.N., Herms, D.A., Koch, J.L., Bonello, P., and D. Cipollini.  2015. Physiological responses of emerald ash borer larvae to feeding on different ash species reveal putative resistance mechanisms and insect counter-adaptations. Journal of Insect Physiology, DOI: 10.1016/j.jinsphys.2015.05.001

 Cipollini, D. 2015. White fringetree, Chionanthus virginicus, as a novel larval host for emerald ash borer.  Journal of Economic Entomology DOI: 10.1093/jee/tou026

Ali, J, Lieurance, D., and Cipollini, D.  2015. Soil biota affect growth and mycorrhizal infection of Impatiens capensis and alter the effects of rhizosphere extracts of Lonicera                       maackii. Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society, 142: 1-11,

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