Jesse A. Eiben

 Contact Info 
E-mail: eiben [at] hawaii [dot] edu


I am originally from Jefferson, a very small town in rural southern Pennsylvania. I grew up in a corn and soybean area of southern PA, and I can’t thrive without a solid dose of open space every now and again. My family cultivated a keen interest in the outdoors, and we challenge each other constantly to learn and explain more of what we encounter. The world is here for us to explore, learn from, and protect. Hawaii seems to be the perfect place to do that!


University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, PhD Student in Entomology, 2005-present

  • Life history and genetics of the Wekiu Bug, Nysius wekiuicola
  • Major Advisor: Dr. Dan Rubinoff

Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, M.S. in Entomology, 2002-2004

  • Thesis Title: Characterizing the Overwintering and Emergence Behaviors of the Adult Squash Bug, Anasa tristis (DeGeer)
  • Major Advisor: Dr. Jonathan Edelson

Albright College, Reading, Pennsylvania, B.S. in Psychobiology, 1997-2001


My main research project involves the wekiu bug endemic to the high alpine regions of Mauna Kea on the Big Island. This lygaeid seed bug is a candidate endangered species due to its decreasing numbers, specialized habitat, constant impacts from human activities, and the myriad of issues associated with global warming. I am specifically interested in the evolution of the wekiu bug and its adaptation to such an extreme environment.

Presentations and Awards

  • Oral Presentation - First Place - “Exploring the Evolution and Diversity of Hawaii's Endemic Seed Bugs: Nysius (Hemiptera: Lygaeidae)”- Student Competition for the President’s Prize - Phylogenetics and Evolution - Entomological Society of America National Meeting - December 2009
  • Elmo Hardy Award - Insect Systematics - University of Hawaii, Entomology Department Award - November 2009
  • Oral Presentation - “Climate Change Effects on the Wekiu Bug: A Candidate Endangered Species Endemic to the Summit of Mauna Kea Inferred from a Life Table Analysis” - July 2009
  • Invited Speaker - Darwin Symposium, Insects and Evolutionary Theory - “Exploring the Evolution of the Hawaiian Nysius Seed Bug Lineage: Phytophagy to carnivory in 500,000 years” - March 2009

  • Previous Work Experience

    Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, 2002-2004

    Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology
    Graduate Research Assistant (2002-2004)

    • Robberson Summer Research Fellowship - Squash Bug Migration
    • Research assistant at WWAREC, Lane, OK
      • Overwintering Habitat, Emergence and Movement of the Squash Bug
      • Sampling protocols for diverse crops and pests: Including - Squash Bug, Harlequin Bug, Green Stink Bug, Beet Leafhopper, Diamondback Moth, Cabbage Looper, Onion Thrips, Striped Cucumber Beetle, Spotted Cucumber beetle, Peach Aphid, Pea Aphid, Tomato Hornworm, Tomato Pinworm

    Graduate Teaching Assistant (2004)

    • ENTO2003 - Insects and Society: 300 students, tutoring and grading
    • ENTO4223 - Guest Lectures: Ecological Methodologies

    Albright College, Reading, Pennsylvania, 2001-2002

    Biology Department
    Part-time Lecturer - Biology
    Laboratory Demonstrator

    • BIO201 (Structure & Function), BIO202 (Taxonomy & Morphology), BIO234 (Human Anatomy and Physiology)

    Albright College, Reading, Pennsylvania, 2000-2001

    Biology Department
    Laboratory Assistant

    • Assisted in Biology laboratory sessions and tutoring students


    Eiben, J., Mackey, C., Roberts, W., and Edelson, J.V. 2004. Foliar applied insecticides for controlling squash bug, 2003, Arthropod Management Tests, E74

    Eiben, J., and Edelson, J.V. 2004. Characterizing the Overwintering and Emergence Behaviors of the Adult Squash Bug, Anasa tristis. Proc. of the 52nd Annual Meeting of the Southwestern Branch of the Ento. Soc. Of Amer. 1:8