Nate B Hardy

I study the evolution of plant-eating insects, especially the ones that suck sap. For an overview of my research interests, see the Research summary page. I came to the Auburn Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology in 2013. It’s been fun. For a list of my publications, check out my Google Scholar profile. Here’s a link to my CV: hardy-cv-2017-Oct.





MS student: Gwendolyn Bird

Gwendolyn started her MS in January 2018. After teaching high school biology for a few years, she’s decided to give research a try. She is using meta-analysis to get a bead on how plant-eating insects help and hurt each other while feeding on the same plant. And she is using selection experiments to study the evolution of plant-eating insect diets.




MS student: Chloe Kaczvinsky

Chloe started her MS in January 2018. She is using a combination of comparative phylogenetics and selection experiments to test hypotheses about the evolution of what plant-eating insects eat. She is also interested in Science Policy!




PhD student: Ricki Hamilton


Ricki joined the lab in the fall of 2015, after doing her MS in Entomology at the University of Arkansas. For her dissertation, she is working on the biodiversity of hickory-phylloxerans. These are cool aphid-like animals that induce galls on their hosts and are pretty common throughout the eastern US. Ricki is going to improve our understanding of the species diversity, and hopefully also learn something about why gall forms vary among phylloxeran species.



Former student: Mayrolin García Morales

IMG_20140910_145249Mayrolin finished her Masters in the spring of 2016. She got herself an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and now she is doing her PhD with Ben Normark at UMass. While she was in the Hardy Lab, she made ScaleNet new again.  And she tested some ideas about how natural enemies might drive species diversification in plant-eating insects (leafroller moths and scale insects). She needs to publish that stuff!

We are all really proud of Mayrolin and miss having her in the lab.


Former student: Nicholas Christodoulides


Nick finished his MS in the summer of 2017. He is a lover of lizards, but we convinced him to do some work on bugs. For his thesis, he compared plant-eating insect transcriptomes (samples of all of the genes being expressed in a particular organism at a particular time) to learn something about how they are able to feed on many hosts. He also did some tinkering in the greenhouse to prepare us for experimental evolution studies. For his PhD, Nick is studying the evolutionary genetics of lizards at UCF.

Former visiting scholar: Linda Oforka

img_3809Linda is doing her PhD at the University of Lagos, in Nigeria. She visited the lab for about half of 2016. She came to delimit species in the Simulium damnosum complex, the black flies that transmit Onchocerciasis (River Blindness and various skin diseases) in West Africa. It was great having her with us, and we all miss her and wish her the best of luck!




Future student: You?

If you are interested in joining the Hardy Lab, shoot me an email (