Jessamy Rango

Research Affiliate

Ph.D., Arizona State University


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Research Interests

I am an entomologist with a community ecology perspective. I focus on communities of insects because I am intrigued by the interplay of species interactions on both the assembly and structure of communities. To understand how such interactions are constrained by environmental factors, I focus my efforts on insect communities in unique, extreme habitats. For instance, I have studied the insect communities thriving inside the water-filled leaves of the northern pitcher plant, Sarracenia purpurea, on bogs, the insect communities associated with cresote bush, Larrea tridentata, in the Sonoran desert, and the ant communities recovering in areas devastated by the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. I conduct studies in extreme habitats because environmental factors may have pronounced effects on insect communities that are already living on the edge, shedding light on what factors are of the utmost importance in dictating the assembly and structure of communities in general. The main areas of research that I have focused on include: 1) the influence of priority effects on community assembly, 2) the influence of urbanization on community structure, and 3) the recovery of insect communities following catastrophic environmental change. I am particularly interested in expanding my studies investigating the influence of urbanization on insect communities into a large-scale research program. Additionally, I intend to begin studies investigating the impact of invasive ants on the structure of native insect communities.

Selected Publications *

  • McIntyre, N.E., and J.J. Rango. 2009. Arthropods in urban ecosystems: community patterns as functions of anthropogenic land use. In: Ecology of Cities and Towns: A Comparative Approach (M.J. McDonnell, ed.).
  • Rango, J.J. 2005. Arthropod communities on creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) in desert patches of varying degrees of urbanization. Biodiversity and Conservation 14(9): 2185-2206.
  • Fagan, W.F., M.D. Moran, J.J. Rango, and L.E. Hurd. 2002. Community effects of praying mantids: a meta-analysis of the influences of species identity and experimental design. Ecological Entomology 27(4): 385-395.
  • McIntyre, N.E., J. Rango, W.F. Fagan, and S.H. Faeth. 2001. Ground arthropod community structure in a heterogeneous urban environment. Landscape and Urban Planning 52(4): 257-274.
  • Rango, J.J. 1999. Summer phenology of aquatic insect communities inhabiting the leaves of the northern pitcher plant, Sarracenia purpurea L. Northeastern Naturalist 6(1):19-30.
  • Rango, J.J. 1999. Resource dependent larviposition behavior of a pitcher plant flesh fly, Fletcherimyia fletcheri (Aldrich) (Diptera: Sarcophagidae). Journal of the New York Entomological Society, 107(1):82-86.

From the gallery

Hiking in to field sites Jessamy on the Pumice Plain Insect Pitfall Trap Teaching butterfly pinning Mt. St. Helens Study Site Collecting ants