Martha Hunter

Professor, Entomology

Chair, GIDP in Entomology and Insect Science

Martha (Molly) Hunter is a Professor (Department of Entomology, and joint faculty in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology), and Chair of the GIDP program in Entomology and Insect Science since 2009. Her area of interest is in the effects of bacterial endosymbionts on the life history, ecology and evolution of herbivores and their natural enemies. Among other findings, her research included one of the first demonstrations of a defensive bacterial symbiont in a terrestrial system (showing bacterial endosymbionts in aphids confer resistance to parasitoid natural enemies; PNAS ‘03), and the discovery of a symbiont that causes major fitness effects in an invasive pest (Science ’11). She has published over 65 peer-reviewed manuscripts, including other papers in Science and PNAS. She has mentored 11 graduate students as major advisor, as well as 10 postdoctoral associates and 30 additional graduate students as a committee member. She has also had 50 undergraduates involved in laboratory research. Her teaching includes graduate seminars and Ecol 182R, the second semester of Introductory Biology.


  • B.A. in Biology, Brown University 1980
  • M.Sc. in Entomology, Cornell University 1987
  • Ph.D. in Entomology, Cornell University 1991.