Associate Research Professor, Department of Entomology
After working in organic chemistry during my doctoral and postdoctoral studies I moved my research focus to interdisciplinary chemistry in tropical and temperate environments. I have been fascinating by the chemical diversity across kingdoms at different phylogenetic scales, as well as the role of small molecules in shaping biological interactions, ever since. Over the years, I explored insect-microbe symbiosis and plant-insect interactions by combining methodologies in natural products chemistry, analytical chemistry, metabolomics, and genomics. I have a strong interest in basic and applied insect science at the interface of chemistry and biology, and firmly believe that harnessing the biological functions of specialized metabolites will continue to have major impacts on agriculture, materials science, and medicine.
To advance the fields of chemical ecology and agricultural chemistry, my research program focuses on understanding the role of specialized metabolites in plant-insect interactions. For instance, I study how insect herbivores can adapt to plant chemical defenses by either detoxifying of sequestrating toxins, with the goal of developing novel crop protection strategies. Another aspect of my work is to develop new methods for improving the detection of insect pheromones and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the field. It is essential to detect small molecules at very low concentration in the environment to decipher plant-plant and plant-insect communications and to monitor insect pest migration. My extension responsibilities are to engage and to interact with the agricultural industry to improve the development of pest control supplies and products.
A. A. Agrawal, L. Espinosa del Alba, X. López-Goldar, A. P. Hastings, R. A. White, R. Halitschke, S. Dobler, G. Petschenka, C. Duplais (2022). Functional evidence supports adaptive plant chemical defense along a geographical cline. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 119(25), e2205073119.
A. A. Agrawal, K. Böröczky, M. Haribal, A. P. Hastings, R. A. White, R.-W. Jiang, C. Duplais (2021). Cardenolides, toxicity, and the costs of sequestration in the coevolutionary interaction between monarchs and milkweeds. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 118:e2024463118
C. Duplais, V. Sarou-Kanian, D. Massiot, A. Hassan, B. Perrone, Y. Estevez, J. T. Wertz, E. Martineau, J. Farjon, P. Giraudeau, C. S. Moreau (2021). Gut bacteria are essential for normal cuticle development of herbivorous turtle ants. Nat. Commun. 12:676.
A. Chanson, C. S. Moreau, C. Duplais (2021). Assessing Biosynthetic Gene Cluster Diversity of Specialized Metabolites in the Conserved Gut Symbionts of Herbivorous Turtle Ants. Front. Microbio. 12:678100.
A. Touchard, H. C. Mendel, I. Boulogne, V. Herzig, G. F. King, M. Trinquigneaux, L. Jacquillard, R. Béroud, M. de Waard, O. Delalande, A. Dejean, M. Muttenthaler, C. Duplais (2020). Heterodimeric insecticidal peptide provides new insights into the molecular and functional diversity of ant venoms. ACS Pharmacol. and Transl. Sci. 3:1211-1224.
C. Duplais, N. Papon, V. Courdavault (2020). Tracking the origin and evolution of plant metabolites. Trends in Plant Sci. 25:1182-1184.
C. Birer, C. S. Moreau, N. Tykslind, G. Genta-Jouve, L. Zinger, C. Duplais (2020). Disentangling the sources of ant cuticular bacterial community of two Amazonian ant species sharing a common arboreal nest. Mol. Ecol. 29:1372-1385.
15 Castle Creek Drive
Geneva, NY 14456
c.duplais [at] cornell.edu