Dr. Dustin VanOverbeke is broadly interested in insect-plant interactions. Research projects include, but are not limited to; studying the self-selection of optimal diets (in terms of protein and carbohydrate ratio) by butterfly and moth caterpillars, the effects of diet on polyphenism in White-lined sphynx moth caterpillars (Hyles lineata), measuring how the preference for and effects of nectar-borne amino acids change in regard to larval and adult nutrition, and the effects of diet on mate selection. These studies further our knowledge on the evolutionary biology of plant-pollinator mutualisms. He is also interested in invertebrate conservation efforts. Where research has been done, results indicate troubling declines in insect abundance and diversity. Insects are integral to the health of ecosystems and this is especially apparent with native pollinators. There is a need for understanding how land management practices affect pollinators and Dr. VanOverbeke is monitoring the effects of replanting native plant species on the pollinator community within the San Timoteo Nature Sanctuary in Redlands, CA. His students are currently focusing on Hymenoptera (bees and wasps).