Don Cipollini, Jr., Ph.D.

Biological Sciences
Director of Environmental Sciences, and 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-present)
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 the chemical ecology of plant responses to the environment, with a focus on induced plant responses to herbivores and pathogens and the chemical ecology of invasive plants, insects, and microbes. One important theme is the influence of environmental and genetic factors on the expression, costs, and benefits of plant resistance traits, and on subsequent outcomes of the interaction of plants with their biotic and abiotic environment. 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 garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata), an important invasive mustard that has allelopathic effects on other plants, insects, and soil microbes, like mycorrhizae. 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. 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.  Other collaborative projects involve the chemical ecology of a midge galling system in goldenrod (Solidago) species, the chemical ecology of fungal and insect resistance in Austrian pine (Pinus nigra), and the conservation biology and genetics of the endangered wetland plant, Northeastern Bulrush (Scirpus ancistrochaetus). We have worked experimentally with bacteria, fungi, insects, and plants, and use a variety of techniques including basic experimental greenhouse and field ecology techniques, microscopy, molecular analyses, and analytical chemistry techniques such as HPLC.


Lieurance, D. and Cipollini, D.  Ontogenetic and environmental influences on growth and defense responses of the invasive shrub, Lonicera maackii, to simulated and real herbivory.  Annals of Botany, in review

Anderson, L.J., and Cipollini, D.  Gas exchange, growth, and defense responses of invasive Alliaria petiolata and native Geum vernum to elevated atmospheric CO2 and temperature.  New Phytologist, in review

Heath, J., Cipollini, D., and Stireman, J.O.  The role of carotenoids in mediating interactions between insects and their environment. Arthropod-Plant Interactions, in revision

Cipollini, K., Millam, K., Burks, D., Cipollini, D., Girod, S., VanGundy, Z., Peters, J. Genetic structure of endangered Northeastern Bulrush (Scirpus ancistrochaetus) in Pennsylvania,USA using information from RAPDs and SNPs.  Biochemical Genetics, in revision

Cipollini, D., Walters, D., and Voelckel, C.  Costs of resistance in plants: from theory to evidence. In Annual Plant Reviews, Plant-Insect Interactions.  Wiley-Blackwell. In press

Heath, J., Wells, B., Cipollini, D., Stireman, J.O.  Carnivores and carotenoids are associated with adaptive behavioural divergence in a radiation of gall midges.  Ecological Entomology accepted

Schradin, K. and Cipollini, D.  2012.  The sign and strength of plant-soil feedback for the invasive shrub Lonicera maackii varies in different soils.  Forests 3: 903-922, doi:10.3390/f3040903

Lieurance, D.M., and Cipollini, D.  2012.  Exotic Lonicera species both escape and resist specialist and generalist herbivores in the introduced range in North America.  Biological Invasions, accepted

Barto, E.K., Weidenhamer, J., Cipollini, D., and Rillig, M.  2012.  Fungal superhighways: common mycorrhizal networks enhance belowground communication.  Trends in Plant Science  DOI: 10.1016/j.tplants.2012.06.007

Cipollini, D., and Lieurance, D.  2012.  Expression and costs of induced resistance traits in Alliaria petiolata, a widespread invasive plant.  Basic and Applied Ecology 13: 432-440,

Cipollini, D., Rigsby, C.M., and Barto, E.K.  2012.  Microbes as targets and mediators of  allelopathy in plants.  Journal of Chemical Ecology 38:714–727

Whitehill, J.G.A., Opiyo, S.O., Koch, J.L., Herms, D.A., Cipollini, D.F., and Bonello, P.  2012. Interspecific comparison of constitutive ash phloem phenolic chemistry reveals compounds unique to Manchurian Ash, a species resistant to Emerald Ash Borer.  Journal of Chemical Ecology 38: 499-511

Lieurance, D. and D. Cipollini.  2011.  Damage levels from arthropod herbivores on Lonicera maackii suggest enemy release in its introduced range.  Biological Invasions. 14: 863-873, DOI 10.1007/s10530-011-0123-7

Cipollini, D., Wang, Q., Whitehill, J.G.A., Powell, J., Bonello, P, and Herms, D. 2011. Distinguishing defensive characteristics in the phloem of ash species resistant and susceptible to the Emerald Ash Borer.  Journal of Chemical Ecology 37: 450-459.

Enright, S., and Cipollini, D.  2011.  Overlapping defense responses to water limitation and pathogen attack and their consequences for resistance to powdery mildew disease in garlic mustard, Alliaria petiolata.  Chemoecology 21: 89-98.  DOI: 10.1007/s00049-011-0072-8

Hillstrom, C, and Cipollini, D. 2011.  Variation in phenotypic plasticity in native and invasive populations of Alliaria petiolata.  International Journal of Plant Sciences 172: 763-772.

Koch, A.M., Antunes, P.M., Barto, E.K., Cipollini, D., Mummey, D.L., and Klironomos, J.N. 2011.  The effects of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal and garlic mustard introductions on native AM fungal diversity.  Biological Invasions 13: 1627-1639, DOI: 10.1007/s10530-010-9920-7

Barto, E.K., Antunes, P.M., Stinson, K., Koch, A.M., Klironomos, J.N., Cipollini, D. 2011. Differences in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities associated with sugar maple seedlings in and outside of invaded garlic mustard forest patches.  Biological Invasions DOI 10.1007/s10530-011-9945-6

Ciola, V., and Cipollini, D. 2011.  Distribution and host range of a powdery mildew fungus attacking garlic mustard in southwestern Ohio.  American Midland Naturalist 166:40-52.

Cipollini, K. and Cipollini, D.  2011.  Population status and threats to the federally endangered Scirpus ancistrochaetus: implications for management.  Northeastern Naturalist18:275-291.

 Barto, E.K., Powell, J., and Cipollini, D.  2010.  How novel are the chemical weapons of garlic mustard in North American forest understories?  Biological Invasions 12: 3465-3471, doi: 10.1007/s10530-010-9744-5

Barto, E.K., Friese, C., and Cipollini, D.  2010.  Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi protect a native plant from allelopathic effects of an invader.  Journal of Chemical Ecology 36: 351-360.

Cipollini, D., and Heil, M.  2010.  Costs and benefits of induced resistance to pathogens and herbivores in plants.  CAB Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources 5: 1-25.  doi: 10.1079/PAVSNNR20105005

Cipollini, D. 2010.  Constitutive expression of methyl jasmonate-inducible responses delays reproduction and constrains fitness responses to nutrients in Arabidopsis thalianaEvolutionary Ecology, 24: 59-68, 10.1007/s10682-008-9290-0

Wallis, C., Eyles, A., Chorbadjian R.A., Riedl K., Schwartz S., Hansen R., Cipollini, D., Herms, D.A., and Bonello P.  2010.  Differential effects of nutrient availability on the secondary
metabolism of Austrian pine (Pinus nigra) phloem and resistance to Diplodia pinea.  Forest Pathology doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0329.2009.00636.x

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