Carrie A. Deans, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor


301 Sparkman Drive
Shelby Center
Room SST 302N
Huntsville, AL 35899
Campus Map



I am an integrative biologist who focuses on understanding mechanisms of plasticity and adaptation. I utilize a systems biology approach that combines information from different levels of organization, including ecology, physiology, and molecular biology, to understand complex biological processes. Most of my past research has been in the field of nutritional ecology, working predominantly in plant-insect systems with an emphasis on urban and agricultural insect pests, including, but not limited to, cotton bollworm (Helicovpera zea), Western tarnished plant bugs (Lygus hesperus), spotted-wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii), and Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica). My more recent research is focused on studying the evolution of different biological mechanisms, particularly anticipatory processes and on documenting the sensory effects of food on organismal physiology.

Curriculum Vitae

Research Website


  • Ph.D. Entomology, Entomology Department, Texas A&M University, 2015
  • M.S. Ecology and Natural Resources, Department of Biological Sciences, St. Cloud State University, 2011
  • B.A. Biology, Biology Department, University of St. Thomas, 2005
  • B.A. Environmental Studies, Earth, Environment, & Society Department, University of St. Thomas, 2005

Honors & Awards

  • 2011 - College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (Texas A&M University): Excellence Fellowship
  • 2014 - Office of Graduate Studies, Texas A&M University: Dissertation Fellowship
  • 2022 - AAUW Postdoctoral Leave Fellowship

Recent Publications

  • Deans, C.A. and Krischik, V. 2023. The current state and future potential of microbial controls for scarab pests. Applied Sciences (Special Issue: Frontiers in Biorational Insecticides and Novel Tactics in Pest Management), 13(2): 766.

  • Deans, C.A. 2022. Epigenetic processes as anticipatory mechanisms: insect polyphenism as an exemplar In Nadin (Ed.), Epigenetics and Anticipation, Cognitive Systems Monographs, 45. Springer: Cham.

  • Deans, C.A. and Hutchison, W.D. 2022. The importance of time in nutrient regulation: a case study with spotted-wing Drosophila (Drosophila suzukii). Frontiers in Insect Science (Special Issue: New Advances in Understanding the Regulation of Appetite in Insects), 17(7): e0271417.

  • Deans, C.A. and Hutchison, W.D. 2022. Propensity for resistance development in the invasive berry pest, spotted-wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii). Pest Management Science. 78(12): 5203–5212.

  • Deans, C.A., Sword, G.A., Vogel, H., Behmer, S. 2022. Effects of diet protein-carbohydrate ratios and amounts on insect herbivore gene expression. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 145:103773.

  • Deans, C.A., Hutchison, W.D. 2021. The protein-paradox: Elucidating the complex nutritional ecology of the invasive berry pest, spotted-wing Drosophila (Diptera: Drosophila suzukii). Frontiers in Insect Science, 1:787169. 10.3389/finsc.2021.787169

  • Deans, C.A. 2021. Biological prescience: The role of anticipation in organismal processes. Frontiers in Physiology, 12, 672457. 10.3389/fphys.2021.672457