Matthew Turnbull

Interim Co-Chair Plant and Environmental Sciences
Associate Professor
Plant and Environmental Sciences Department, Biological Sciences Department

Office: 327 Jordan Hall
Phone: 864-656-2328


 Educational Background

Ph.D. Entomology
University of Kentucky 2002

M.A. Biology
College of William & Mary 1999

B.S. Biology
College of William & Mary 1994

 Courses Taught

BIO1030, Introductory Biology for Non-Majors
BIO2000, Biology in the News
BIO4930, Senior Seminar (Topics: Bioelectricity; Symbioses)
BIO8450, Understanding Animal Diversity
ENT4950/6950, Insect Biotechnology
ENT8700, Insect Physiology and Molecular Biology
IS2100, Selected Topics in International Studies (New Zealand & Australia Study Abroad, 2018)
STS2150, Humans and the Environment (New Zealand & Australia Study Abroad, 2018)


Memberships: AAAS, ASCB, ASM, ESA, Sigma Xi

 Research Interests

My research interests broadly encompass the integrative biology of insects. They include investigation of the molecular biology and cell physiology of insect Innexins (gap junction molecules), in which we are studying evolution of the Innexin gene family as well as the regulation and functions of the molecules. As part of this research, we have identified and continue to study the biology of Innexin homologues from insect viruses known as Polydnaviruses. Similar studies with Polydnavirus-encoded gene products have identified novel potential molecular agents for the control of agricultural insect pests, as well as insight into insect physiology.

In addition to the above work, my lab is interested in symbiotic interactions of insects and arthropods. This includes identifying environmental effects on microbial community structure in insects, and the conditions which affect symbiotic relationships of arthropods and other organisms and/or biological derivatives.


Zhang, P. and Turnbull, M.W. (2018) Virus Innexin Expression in Insect Cells Disrupts Cell Membrane Potential and pH. Journal of General Virology (in press) DOI 10.1099/jgv.0.001132

Romero, A., Turnbull, M.W., and Baeza, A. (2018) Embryonic development in the peppermint shrimp Lysmata boggessi (Caridea: Lysmatidae). Biological Bulletin 234,

Stubbins, F., Mitchell, P.L., Turnbull, M.W., Reay-Jones, F.P.F., and Greene, J.K. (2017) Mouthpart morphology and feeding behavior of the invasive kudzu bug, Megacopta cribraria (Hemiptera: Plataspidae). Invertebrate Biology 136, 309-320. DOI:10.1111/ivb.12184

Hasegawa, D.K., Erickson, S., Hersh, B., and Turnbull, M.W. (2017) Function of ectopic virus and insect innexins. Journal of Insect Physiology 98, 173-181.

Brown, B.L., Turnbull, M.W., Creed, R.P., and Skelton, J. (2016) Clean Genes: Ectosymbiotic cleaning mutualists induce down regulation of crayfish immune response genes. Freshwater Crayfish 22, 43-51.

Swanson, D.A. and Turnbull, M.W. (2014) Molecular identification of bloodmeals from Culicoides Latreille (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) in the Southeastern U.S.A.. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 116, 354-357. doi:10.4289/0013-8797.116.3.354

Hasegawa, D.K. and Turnbull, M.W. (2014) Recent findings in evolution and function of insect innexins. FEBS Letters 588, 1403-1410. doi:10.1016/j.febslet.2014.03.006

Mahajan, U.V., Gravgaard, J., Turnbull, M., Jacobs, D.B., and McNealy, T.L. (2011). Larval exposure to Francisella tularensis LVS affects adult mosquito fitness. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 78, 520-530. doi:10.1111/j.1574-6941.2011.01182.x

Marzianno, N., Hasegawa, D., Phelan, P., and Turnbull, M.W. (2011). Virus-encoded gap junction proteins interactions and alterations of insect innexins. Journal of Virology. 85, 10222-10229. doi:10.1128/JVI.00691-11

Luo, K. and Turnbull, M.W. (2011). Hemichannel activity and proposed relationship to immunity in lepidopteran hemocytes. Journal of Insect Science 11:6. doi:10.1673/031.011.0106

Gravgaard, J.C., Turnbull, M.W., and McNealy, T.L. (2010). A novel technique for inducing and confirming uptake of bacteria in larvae of the Southern House Mosquito, Culex quinquefasciatus Say (Diptera: Culicidae). Florida Entomologist. 93, 577-583. doi:10.1653/024.093.0416

Luo, K. and Turnbull, M.W. Manipulations of host cell physiology by polydnaviruses. (2008) (pp 93-115 in Recent Advances in Insect Physiology, Toxicology, and Molecular Biology; ed. Nannan Liu). Research Signpost. Kerala, India


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