College of Natural & Agricultural Sciences

Kerry Mauck

Kerry Elizabeth Mauck

Assistant Professor of Entomology

Ph.D., Entomology, 2012, The Pennsylvania State University

B.S., Biology, 2005, The College of New Jersey

Research Areas

Chemical ecology of pathogen-host-vector interactions

Contact Information
Entomology Bldg. 324
(951) 827-5444

The spread of insect-borne diseases is mediated by complex interactions among pathogens, their hosts, and insect vectors, but our understanding of the physiological and ecological mechanisms governing these interactions is limited, despite clear significance for agriculture, ecology, and human health. Chemistry invariably plays a central role in mediating such interactions; yet, relatively little work to date has addressed the chemical ecology of insect-vectored diseases. My research focuses on investigating the biochemical mechanisms mediating plant pathogen transmission in complex ecological settings and their implications for host plant interactions with other organisms. We are particularly interested in studying how vector-borne pathogens of plants and animals might evolve to alter traits of their hosts in ways that influence the frequency and nature of interactions between hosts and insect vectors. We also explore how pathogen-induced phenotypic shifts affect interactions between hosts and other (vector or non-vector) organisms in ways that modify food webs, alter the outcome of competitive interactions, and influence flows of energy and nutrients.

Awards Received

2014     ETH Postdoctoral Researcher Fellowship

2012     Henry and Sylvia Richardson Research Grant, Entomological Foundation

2012     Pennsylvania Soybean Board Research Grant

2011     USDA AFRI NIFA Pre-doctoral Fellowship

2010     NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant

2009     Penn State College of Agriculture Competitive Grant

2007     Sigma Xi Grant in Aid of Research

2006     University Fellowship, Penn State University


Mauck KE (2016). Variation in virus effects on host plant phenotypes and insect vector behavior: what can it teach us about virus evolution? Current Opinion in Virology 21: 114-123.

Mauck KE, De Moraes CM, Mescher MC (2016). Effects of pathogens on sensory-mediated interactions between plants and insect vectors. Current Opinion in Plant Biology 32: 53-61.

Peñaflor MFGV, Mauck KE, Alves KJ, De Moraes CM, Mescher MC (2016). Effects of single and mixed infections of Bean pod mottle virus and Soybean mosaic virus on host plant chemistry and host-vector interactions. Functional Ecology 30: 1648-1659.

Mauck KE, De Moraes CM, Mescher MC (2015) Infection of host plants by Cucumber mosaic virus increases the susceptibility of Myzus persicae to the parasitoid Aphidius colemani. Scientific Reports 5: 10963.

Mauck KE, Smyers E, De Moraes CM, Mescher MC (2015) Virus infection influences host plant interactions with non-vector herbivores and predators. Functional Ecology 29: 662-673.

Mauck KE, De Moraes CM, Mescher MC (2014) Evidence of local adaptation in the effects of plant viruses on host-vector interactions. Integrative and Comparative Biology 54(2): 193-209.

Mauck KE, De Moraes CM, Mescher MC (2014) Biochemical and physiological mechanisms underlying effects of Cucumber mosaic virus on host-plant traits that mediate transmission by aphid vectors. Plant, Cell & Environment 37(6), 1427-1439.

Alexander HM, Mauck KE, Whitfield AE, Garrett KA, Malmstrom CM (2014) Plant-virus interactions and the agro-ecological interface. Eur. J. Plant Pathol. 138: 529-547.

Shapiro LR, Salvaudon L, Mauck KE, Pulido H, De Moraes CM, Stephenson AG, Mescher MC (2013) Disease interactions in a shared host plant: effects of pre-existing viral infection on cucurbit plant defense responses and resistance to bacterial wilt disease. PLoS ONE 8(10): e77393.

Halloran ST, Mauck KE, Fleischer SJ, Tumlinson JH (2013) Volatiles from intact and Lygus-damaged Erigeron annuus (L.) Pers. are highly attractive to ovipositing Lygus and its parasitoid Peristenus relictus Ruthe. J. Chem. Ecol. 39: 1115-1128.

Kariyat RR, Mauck KE, Balogh CM, Stephenson AG, Mescher MC, De Moraes CM (2013) Inbreeding in horsenettle (Solanum carolinense) alters night-time volatile emissions that guide oviposition by Manduca sexta moths. Proc. R. Soc. B 280: 20130020.

Mauck KE, Bosque-Pérez NA, Eigenbrode SD, De Moraes CM, Mescher MC (2012) Transmission mechanisms shape pathogen effects on host-vector interactions: evidence from plant viruses. Functional Ecology 26(5): 1162-1175.

Kariyat RR, Mauck KE, De Moraes CM, Stephenson AG, Mescher MC (2012) Inbreeding alters volatile signaling phenotypes and influences tri-trophic interactions in horsenettle (Solanum carolinense L.). Ecology Letters 15(4): 301-309.

Mauck KE, De Moraes CM, Mescher M (2010) Deceptive chemical signals induced by a plant virus attract insect vectors to inferior hosts. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107 (8): 3600-3605.

Mauck KE, De Moraes CM, Mescher MC (2010) Effects of Cucumber mosaic virusinfection on vector and non-vector herbivores of squash. Comm. and Integrative Biology 3(6): 579–582.

Morrison JA, Mauck KE (2007) Experimental field comparison of native and non-native maple seedlings: natural enemies, ecophysiology, growth and survival. Journal of Ecology 95: 1036-1049.*

Morrison JA, Lubchansky HA, Mauck KE, McCartney K, and Dunn B (2007) Ecological comparison of two co-invasive species in eastern deciduous forests:  Alliaria petiolata and Microstegium vimineum.  J. of the Torrey Bot. Soc. 134: 1-17.


* Indicates all authors contributed equally to this publication

Let us help you with your search