Casey Philbin

Research Assistant Professor He/him/his


Dr. Philbin explores phytochemical ecometabolomics using a state-of-the-art Agilent 6560 IM-QTOF mass spectrometer. His research ranges from phytochemically mediated plant-insect interactions to the metabolic fate of phytochemicals in the gut and biofluids of herbivores. Working with Dr. Richards he investigates the influence of phytochemical diversity on plant-herbivore interactions across different ecological gradients and at various scales. Most recently, he has begun to develop techniques for integrating community and traditional ecological knowledge with metabolomic data to develop a deeper understanding of how chemistry can inform how humans have and continue to interact with ecological communities.

Research interests

  • Ecometabolomics
  • Plant-herbivore interactions
  • Phytochemistry
  • Natural product chemistry
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacognosy


  • Ph.D. in Chemistry, University of Nevada, Reno, 2019
  • M.S. in Food Science and Nutrition, The Ohio State University, 2006
  • B.S. in Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, 2000


  • Uckele, K.A.; Jahner, J.P.; Tepe, E.J.; Richards, L.A.; Dyer, L.A.; Ochsenrider, K.M.; Philbin, C.S.; Massuo J. K.; Yamaguchi, L.F.; Forister, M.L.; Smilanich, A.M.; Dodson, C.D.; Jeffrey, C.S.; Parchman, T.L. 2021. Phytochemistry reflects different evolutionary history in traditional classes versus specialized structural motifs. Scientific Reports. 11: 17247
  • Philbin, C.S.; Paulsen, M.; Richards, L.A. 2021. Opposing effects of Ceanothus velutinus phytochemistry on herbivore communities at multiple scales. Metabolites. 11: 361. 
  • Philbin, C.S.; Dyer, L.A.; Jeffrey, C.S.; Glassmire, A.E.; Richards, L.A. 2021. Structural and compositional dimensions of phytochemical diversity in the genus Piper reflect distinct ecological modes of action. Journal of Ecology. 00: 1– 11.
  • Forister, M.L; Philbin, C.S.; Marion, Z.H.; Buerkle, C.A.; Dodson, C.D.; Fordyce, J.A.; Forister, G.W.; Lebeis, S.L.;Lucas, L.K.; Nice, C.C.; Gompert, Z. 2020. Predicting patch occupancy reveals the complexity of host range expansion. Science Advances. EABC6852
  • Forister, M.L.; Yoon, S.a.; Philbin, C.S.; Dodson, C.D.; Hart, B.; Harrison, J.G.; Shelef, O.; Fordyce, J.A.; Marion, Z.H.; Nice, C.C.; Richards, L.A.; Buerkle, C.A.; Lebeis, S.; Gompert, Z. 2020. Caterpillars on a phytochemical landscape: The case of alfalfa and the Melissa blue butterfly. Ecology and Evolution. 10: 4362– 4374
  • Gurr, J.; Dai, J.; Philbin, C.S.; Sartain, H.; Yoshida, W.; Rheingold, A.; Williams, P. Tolyporphins L-R: Unusual Tetrapyrroles from a Brasilonema sp. of Cyanobacterium. 2020. Journal of Organic Chemistry. 85(2):318-326
  • Yoon, S.a.; Harrison, J.G.; Philbin, C.S.; Dodson, C.D.; Jones, D.; Wallace, I.S.; Forister, M.L.; Smilanich, A.M. 2019. Host plant-dependent effects of microbes and phytochemistry on the insect immune response. Oecologia. 191: 141-152
  • Gompert, Z.; Brady, M.; Chalyavi, F.; Saley, T. C.; Philbin, C.S.; Tucker, M. J.; Forister, M.; Lucas, L. 2019. Genomic evidence of genetic variation with pleiotropic effects on caterpillar fitness and plant traits in a model legume. Molecular Ecology. 28: 2967–2985
  • Glassmire, A.E., Philbin, C.S., Richards, L.A., Jeffrey, C.S., Snook, J.S., Dyer, L.A. 2018. Proximity to canopy mediates changes in the defensive chemistry and herbivore loads of an understory tropical shrub, Piper kelleyi. Ecology Letters, 22(2): 332-341
  • Dyer, L. A.; Philbin, C. S.; Ochsenrider, K. M.; Richards, L. A.; Massad, T. J.; Smilanich, A. M.; Forister, M. L.; Parchman, T. L.; Galland, L. M.; Hurtado, P. J.; Espeset, A. E.; Glassmire, A. E.; Harrison, J. G.; Mo, C.; Yoon, S. a.; Pardikes, N. A.; Muchoney, N. D.; Jahner, J. P.; Slinn, H. L.; Shelef, O.; Dodson, C. D.; Kato, M. J.; Yamaguchi, L. F.; Jeffrey, C. S. 2018. Modern approaches to study plant–insect interactions in chemical ecology. Nature Reviews Chemistry 2: 50.
  • Harrison, J.G.; Philbin, C.S.; Gompert, Z.; Forister, G.W.; Hernandez‐Espinoza, L.; Sullivan, B.W.; Wallace, I.S.; Beltran, L.; Dodson, C.D.; Francis, J.S.; Schlageter, A. 2018. Deconstruction of a plant‐arthropod community reveals influential plant traits with nonlinear effects on arthropod assemblages. Functional Ecology, 32(5): 1317-1328.