Megan E. Kobiela

Assistant Professor of Biology

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Megan Kobiela Photo taken on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022.

B.S. University of Virginia

M.S. College of William & Mary

Ph.D. University of Minnesota

I am endlessly fascinated by how animals navigate a toxic world! From naturally-occurring plant defenses to human-created poisons, animals must respond to various toxic assaults or perish. Within this theme, my research interests are very wide-ranging. I currently use butterflies and their hosts as a system to address questions about evolutionary and behavioral responses to plant defensive compounds, heavy metals, and pesticides.

Courses Taught

BIOL 111 Introduction to Organisms

BIOL 210 Evolution

BIOL 324 Ecology

BIOL 337 Ornithology

CORE 170 Decisions in a Data-Driven World


Featured manuscripts - for full publication list, please see my Google Scholar profile.

Italics indicate undergraduate co-author

  • Kobiela, M. & E. Snell-Rood. 2020. Genetic variation influences neonicotinoid tolerance in three butterfly species. Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry, 39: 2228-2236.
  • Sikkink, K., R. Hostager, M. Kobiela, N. Fremling, K. Johnston, A. Zambre, E. Snell-Rood. 2020. Tolerance of novel toxins through generalized mechanisms: simulating gradual host shifts of butterflies. The American Naturalist, 195: 485-503.
  • Mitchell, T., A. Shephard, C. Kalinowski, M. Kobiela, E. Snell-Rood. 2019. Butterflies do not alter oviposition or larval foraging in response to anthropogenic increases in sodium. Animal Behaviour, 154: 121-129.
  • Espeset, A., M. Kobiela, K. Sikkink, T. Pan, C. Roy, E. Snell-Rood. 2019. Anthropogenic increases in nutrients alter sexual selection dynamics: a case study in butterflies. Behavioral Ecology, 30: 598-608.
  • Kobiela, M. & E. Snell-Rood. 2018. Nickel exposure has complex transgenerational effects in a butterfly. Integrative and Comparative Biology, 58: 1008-1017.
  • Snell-Rood, E., M. Kobiela, K. Sikkink, A. Shepard. 2018. Mechanisms of plastic rescue in novel environments. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics, 49: 331–354.
  • Philips, K., M. Kobiela, E. Snell-Rood. 2017. Developmental lead exposure has mixed effects on butterfly cognitive processes. Animal Cognition, 20: 87-96.
  • McGlothlin, J., M. Kobiela, [9 co-authors], E. Brodie, III. 2016. Historical contingency in a multigene family facilitates adaptive evolution of toxin resistance. Current Biology, 26: 1616-1621.
  • Kobiela, M., D. Cristol, J. Swaddle. 2015. Risk-taking behaviours in zebra finches affected by mercury exposure. Animal Behaviour. 103: 153-160.

Collecting cabbage white butterflies in a canola field in North Dakota. Collecting cabbage white butterflies in a canola field in North Dakota.

Current and past society affiliations:

Society for the Study of Evolution

Animal Behavior Society

American Society of Naturalists

Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology