Erica Kistner



Erica J. Kistner, Ph.D.


Postdoctoral Scholar

Dr. Kistner joined the Hoddle laboratory as a Postdoctoral Scholar in July 2014. She is currently evaluating ongoing biological control efforts concerning the Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP), Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Psyllidae) in CA.

She obtained a BS in Biology from the University of Portland in 2006. After graduating, she joined Mark Dybdahl’s lab at Washington State University (WSU) as a MS student. Her MS research examined adaptation in the shell morphology of the invasive New Zealand mud snail and yielded two first author publications. In 2009, she left WSU with a MS in Zoology and she began a PhD program at the University of Notre Dame under Gary Belovsky. She spent 5 years studying fungal pathogen regulation of the grasshopper pest, Camnula pellucida in western Montana. This work has been published in multiple international journals including Ecology.
Her current research examines the population dynamics of D. citri in southern CA. By conducting manipulative studies in the field, she hopes to evaluate the efficacy of the biocontrol agent, Tamarixia radiata (Waterston) (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), in regulating D. citri populations.



  • Ph.D. Biology, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame (2014)
  • M.S. Zoology, School of Biological Sciences, Washington State University (2008)
  • B.S. Biology, Department of Biology, University of Portland (2006)


Research Interests

Dr. Kistner is a population ecologist with a strong background in invasion, and disease ecology. The overarching goal of her work is to determine key biotic and abiotic components regulating insect pest populations. Specifically, she is interesting in determining the conditions by which natural enemies (pathogens, parasitoids, and predators) limit pest densities. She uses both empirical techniques including laboratory and field experimentation and theoretical approaches (both mathematical and statistical) to investigate research questions. These techniques complement each other by providing a comprehensive understanding of biological systems. 


Current Projects



Asian Citrus Psyllid (Diaphorina citri)

Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) is an efficient vector of the bacterial citrus disease huanglongbing (HLB), previously called citrus greening disease, which is one of the most destructive diseases of citrus worldwide.


Fellowships and Grants

  • USDA AFRI Student Travel Grant, 2013
  • Graduate Student Union Conference Presentation Grant, 2013
  • Orthopterists’ Society Research Grant, 2013
  • GLOBES-ND-ECI Graduate Fellowship, 2011
  • Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research Grant, 2011
  • University of Notre Dame Environmental Research Center Graduate Fellowship, 2010-2013



  • Monsanto Student Travel Award, 2014
  • Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting President’s Prize Runner Up, 2012
  • The Graduate School Professional Development Award, 2012
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2012


Extension Publications


Peer Reviewed Publications




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