Vonnie D.C. Shields

Fisher College of Science and Mathematics, Towson University

Vonnie Shields, Ph.D., is currently Full Professor in the Biological Sciences Department and Acting Dean in the Fisher College of Science and Mathematics at Towson University, Towson, MD, U.S.. Dr. Shields’ laboratory engages in multidisciplinary research directed towards exploring the importance of gustatory, olfactory, and visual cues in the selection of food sources by carrying out behavioral and electrophysiological studies on larval and adult insects. In addition, her lab examines the structural organization of insect sense organs using transmission electron- and scanning electron microscopy. The overall goal of this research is to acquire a better understanding of the sensory mechanisms by which insects find host-plants and detect plant-associated volatiles. The aim is to discover possible novel biocontrol agents against insect pests. Dr. Shields studied biology at the University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, CA. Her interest in insect chemosensory research began after her undergraduate studies, when she started her Ph.D. studies at the same institution. For her Ph.D., she carried out research at the University of Regina and the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, CA. After graduating, she accepted a Research Associate Position to conduct postdoctoral studies at the Arizona Research Laboratories Division of Neurobiology, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, U.S., before she accepted a faculty position at Towson University.

4books edited

2chapters authored

Latest work with IntechOpen by Vonnie D.C. Shields

Ants play important roles in natural ecosystems. These eusocial insects are omnivorous feeders and live in a wide variety of habitats. They belong to the order Hymenoptera, and family Formicidae. There are more than 8800 described species that occur throughout the world. They have large heads, segmented antennae, and powerful jaws and undergo complete metamorphosis. In general, ants live typically in structured nest communities, forming nest sites in close proximity to moisture and food, underground, in ground-level mounds, or in trees. Among ant species, there is a wide range of interesting behaviors displayed. Many species are mutualistic, where they develop interactions with other insects and/or plants. Other species display parasitic relationships among each other. Still other species exhibit predatory behaviors. This book contains contributions written by experts in their respective fields and targets a wide audience. It is highly recommended as a valuable resource for general biologists, entomologists, ecologists, zoologists, and students and teachers in training in this subject matter.

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