Richard Lee,

Projects in Insect Cryobiology


Our research efforts focus on physiological and ecological adaptations of insects for low temperature and winter survival. Insects exposed to subzero temperatures must either avoid tissue freezing through the supercooling of body fluids or tolerate the formation of extracellular ice. Frequently, we have used freeze-tolerant larvae of the goldenrod gall fly (Eurosta solidaginis) and the freeze-intolerant flesh fly (Sarcophaga crassipalpis) as models to investigate the relationship between diapause and cold-hardiness (Denlinger and Lee 1998; Irwin and Lee 2003; Yi and Lee 2003). However, we have used a variety of temperate and polar species including monarch butterflies (Troyer et al. 1996), ticks (Burks et al. 1996), various aquatic insects (Frisbie and Lee 1997), and the Arctic woolly bear caterpillar, Gynaephora groenlandica (Bennett et al. 2003).