Hum-Musser, Sue M., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences
Western Illinois University
Macomb, IL


We study the interactions of plants, insects, and pathogen, and how they affect each other using molecular techniques. We also examine the growth patterns and gene expression of plant and insect in response to ozone exposure.

Explore the undergraduate and graduate education, and research opportunities at our University and Department: Western Illinois University Department of Biological Sciences

Master's Students - In Progress

Jeffery Liles

Desmond Osatuyi

Keshab Mainali

Mohsen Khormi

Bachelor's Honors Students - In progress

Morgan Clark

Master's Students - Completed

Brittany Peterson
Awards: President's prize, Graduate student oral competition, Physiology section, Integrative Physiological and Molecular Insect Systems section, Entomological Society of America 2010 Annual meeting, San Diego, CA.  
     First Place - Graduate Student Oral Presentation, 2011 Biology Graduate Student Research Symposium, Western Illinois University Department of Biological Sciences 
Current position: Ph.D. student at Purdue University
- Purdue University Interdisciplinary Life Science program

Andrian Tu
Activities: Oral Presentation, 2011 Graduate Student Research Symposium, Western Illinois University Department of Biological Sciences
    Outreach - Oral Presentation, 2010 Biology Day, Western Illinois University Department of Biological Sciences

     Outreach - 2010 Antronomy/Biology Night - Biology Demonstration, Western Illinois University

Current position: Microbiologist at Eniva Corporation

Bachelor's Honors Students - Completed

Maitri Desai

Activities: Poster Presentation, 2010 Thomas E. Helm Undergraduate Research day, Western Illinois University
Current position: Pharmacy student, CVS Pharmacy Intern

Jeffery Liles

Activities: Poster Presentation, 2011 Thomas E. Helm Undergraduate Research day, Western Illinois University
               Poster Presentation, 2012 Thomas E. Helm Undergraduate Research day, Western Illinois University

Affiliated Graduated Students
Jason Tuter
Jeffrey Noland
Holly Noland
Shelley Meier
Joe Van Dyke
Warda Boukari
Laura Hemphill
Amanda Logan
Brandon Caley

Affiliated Undergraduate Students
Fatoumata Diawara


Suzuki H, Dowd PF, Johnson ET, Hum-Musser SM, Musser RO. 2012. Effects of elevated peroxidase levels and corn earworm feeding on gene expression in tomato. Journal of Chemical Ecology: In press.

Rodriguez-Saona CR, Musser RO, Vogel H, Hum-Musser SM, Thaler JS. 2010. Molecular, Biochemical, and Organismal Analyses of Tomato Plants Simultaneously Attacked by Herbivores from Two Feeding Guilds. Journal of Chemical Ecology 36: 1043-1057.

Musser RO, Cipollini D, Hum-Musser SM, Williams SA, Brown JK, Felton GW. 2005. Evidence that the Caterpillar Salivary Enzyme Glucose Oxidase Provides Herbivore Offense in Solanaceous Plants. Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology 58(2): 128-137.

Musser RO, Hum-Musser SM, Felton GW, Gergerich RC. 2003. Increased Larval Growth and Preference for Virus-Infected Leaves by the Mexican Bean Beetle, a Plant Virus Vector. Journal of Insect Behavior 16(2): 247-256.

Musser RO, Hum-Musser SM, Eichenseer H, Pfeiffer M, Ervin G, Murphy JB, Felton GW. 2002. Herbivory: Caterpillar Saliva Beats Plant Defences. Nature. 416(6881): 599-600.

Musser RO, Hum-Musser SM, Slaten-Bickford SE, Felton GW, Gergerich RC. 2002. Evidence that Ribonuclease Activity Present in Beetle Regurgitant is Found to Stimulate Virus Resistance in Plants. Journal of Chemical Ecology. 28(8): 1691-1696.

1999 Hum-Musser SM, Morelock TE, Murphy, JB. Relation of heat-shock proteins to thermotolerance during spinach seed germination. In: J.R. Clark & M.D. Richardson (eds.), Horticultural Studies - 1998. Ark. Agri. Exp. Sta. Res. Ser. 466: 103-105.