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

This book provides an overview of the current knowledge of herbivory. This book contains chapters from a wide variety of topics that fall into the following broad sections: (I) "Plant Defense Mechanisms and Herbivore Adaptations," (II) "Herbivory and Food Processing of Grazing Animals," and (III) "Herbivory Effects on Plant Communities." More specifically, the contributions of this book, written by experts in their respective fields, focus on topics including the chemical plant defense against herbivores as well as herbivore adaptions to plant cyanide defenses, the utilization of biomarkers to study grazing behavior of ruminants, modeling for describing ruminant herbivory, as well as improving grain processing to improve dairy cow performance. Contributions on positive indirect interactions in marine herbivores and algae are included, as is one focusing on herbivory by lizards. These chapters represent recent contributions showing the diversity of ongoing research in this field of study. This book targets a wide audience of general biologists as well as botanists, ecologists, and zoologists including both teachers and students in gaining a better appreciation of this rapidly growing field.

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