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Mark Asplen

  • Professor


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Entomology
    University of Arizona

Recent and upcoming courses

Spring 2024

Fall 2024


Dr. Mark Asplen started as an assistant professor of applied ecology at Metropolitan State in Fall 2013. He teaches various classes in ecology and evolutionary biology, primarily serving the Biology and Environmental Science degree programs.

Asplen is an insect ecologist interested in applying the basic principles of evolutionary and behavioral ecology to the practice of pest management. Specific research foci include: (1) dispersal and migration; (2) invasion biology and biological control; (3) defensive endosymbiosis in aphids; and (4) life history evolution and sex determination in the Hymenoptera.

Peer Reviewed Publications (from time at Metropolitan State only)

Tran, A.K., A.M. Kees, W.D. Hutchison, B.H. Aukema, S. Rao, M.A. Rogers and M.K. Asplen. 2022. Comparing Drosophila suzukii flight behavior using free-flight and tethered flight assays. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata,

Asplen, M.K. 2020. Proximate drivers of migration and dispersal in wing-monomorphic insects. Insects 11: 61.

Tran, A.K., W.D. Hutchison and M.K. Asplen. 2020. Morphometric criteria to differentiate Drosophila suzukii (Diptera: Drosophilidae) seasonal morphs. PLoS ONE 10.1371 ​

Asplen, M.K. 2018. Dispersal strategies in terrestrial insects. Current Opinion in Insect Science 27: 16-20.

Harley, C.M. and M.K. Asplen. 2018. Annelid Vision. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Neuroscience, DOI:10.1093/acrefore/9780190264086.013.177.

Desneux, N., M.K. Asplen, C.M. Brady, G.E. Heimpel, K.R. Hopper, C. Luo, L. Monticelli, K.M. Oliver and J.A. White. 2018. Intraspecific variation in facultative symbiont infection among native and exotic pest populations: potential implications for biological control. Biological Control 116: 27-35.

Hopper, K.R., K.L. Kuhn, K. Lanier, J.H. Rhoades, K.M. Oliver, J.A. White, M.K. Asplen and G.E. Heimpel. 2018. The defensive aphid symbiont Hamiltonella defensa affects host quality differently for Aphelinus glycinis versus Aphelinus atriplicis. Biological Control 116: 3-9.

Asplen, M.K., J.M. Chacón & G.E. Heimpel. 2016. Sex-specific dispersal by a parasitoid wasp in the field. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 159: 252-259.

Stephens, A.R., M.K. Asplen, W.D. Hutchison and R.C. Venette. 2015. Cold hardiness of winter-acclimated Drosophila suzukii (Diptera: Drosophilidae) adults. Environmental Entomology 44: 1619-1626.

Asplen, M.K., G. Anfora, A. Biondi, D.-S. Choi, D. Chu, K.M. Daane, P. Gibert, A.P. Gutierrez, K.M. Hoelmer, W.D. Hutchison, R. Isaacs, Z.-L. Jiang, Z. Kárpáti, M.T. Kimura, M. Pascual, C.R. Philips, C. Plantamp, L. Ponti, G. Vétek, H, Vogt, V.M. Walton, Y. Yu, L. Zappalà and N. Desneux. 2015. Invasion biology of spotted wing Drosophila (Drosophila suzukii): a global perspective and future priorities. Journal of Pest Science 88: 469-494.

Burrack, H.J., M. Asplen, L. Bahder, J. Collins, F.A. Drummond, C. Guédot, R. Isaacs, D. Johnson, A. Blanton, J.C. Lee, G. Loeb, C. Rodriguez-Saona, S. Van Timmeren, D. Walsh and D.R. McPhie. 2015. Multistate comparison of attractants for monitoring Drosophila suzukii (Diptera: Drosophilidae) in blueberries and caneberries. Environmental Entomology 44: 704-712.

Asplen, M.K., N. Bano, C.M. Brady, N. Desneux, K.R. Hopper, C. Malouines, K. Oliver, J.A. White & G.E. Heimpel. 2014. Specialisation of bacterial endosymbionts that protect aphids from parasitoids. Ecological Entomology 39: 736-739.

Dykstra, H.R., S.R. Weldon, A.J. Martinez, J.A. White, K.R. Hopper, G.E. Heimpel, M.K. Asplen & K.M. Oliver. 2014. Factors limiting the spread of the protective symbiont Hamiltonella defensa in the aphid Aphis craccivora. Applied & Environmental Microbiology 80: 5818-5827.

Brady, C.M., M.K. Asplen, N. Desneux, G.E. Heimpel, K.R. Hopper, C.R. Linnen, K.M.Oliver, J.A. Wulff & J.A. White. 2014. Worldwide populations of the aphid Aphis craccivora are infected with diverse facultative bacterial symbionts. Microbial Ecology 67:195-204.