fleinniken 2013

Michelle Flenniken, Assistant Professor- Ph.D. from Montana State University, 2006.

Office: 215 Plant BioScience Building
Lab: 337 Plant BioScience Building

Phone: 406-994-7229 (office)
406-994-5152 (lab)
Email Dr. Flenniken


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To learn more about Pollinator Health Research at MSU click here http://www.montana.edu/pollinators/

To learn more about Honey Bee Research and the Pollinator Garden click here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAlk_L_IMLY

Flenniken Lab Members


Fenali Parekh

PhD student, Microbiology and Immunology

B.S. and M.S. degree in Biotechnology from Pune University Work experience as a Patent Analyst for the Government of India

Viruses are important factor in honey bee colony losses. My research focuses on honey bee antiviral defense mechanisms, including dsRNA-mediated virus reduction.

Apart from science, I enjoy traveling, hiking, and spending my free time outdoors.

   337 Plant BioScience Building
   (406) 994-5152
Alex McMenamin

Alex McMenamin

PhD student, Microbiology and Immunology

B.S. Immunology and Infectious Disease, MS. Entomology,                     Penn State University 2015                                    

My research is focused on understanding mechanisms of honey bee antiviral immunity induced by a viral associated molecular pattern (dsRNA). Additionally, I'm interested in the how heat shock proteins facilitate RNA interference - a sequence specific antiviral pathway in honey bees.

   337 Plant BioScience Building
   (406) 994-5152



Brian Ross

PhD student, Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology
B.S. Biology, University of Northern Iowa

My research focuses on the molecular biology and genetics of the potato host and Potato virus Y (PVY), which is an economically important potato Pathogen

   337 Plant BioScience Building
   (406) 994-5152

Marie Pizzorno, PhD

Associate Professor of Biology & Cell Biology/Biochemistry. Visiting Scientist at MSU: 2017-2018.

BA - Biology & Chemistry, Whittier College (1985)
PhD - Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (1991)

Flenniken Lab - Past Members and Current Positions


Laura Brutscher, PhD

PhD in Microbiology and Immunology, 2017

Dissertation Title: Insect Microbe Interactions: Honey Bee Antiviral Defense Mechanisms and Characterization of Spiroplasma colonizing wheat stem sawfly
Current Position:  Postdoctoral Scholar with Dr. Elina Lastro Nino, University of California Davis



Will Glenny, MS

MS in Ecology, 2017

Thesis Title: Evaluating the Effects of Climate Change and Pathogens on Pollinator Health using Plant Functional Traits and Longitudinal Monitoring
Current Position:  PhD student in Ecology with Dr. Laura Burkle, Montana State University


Boyd photo

Elisa Boyd, MS

MS in Plant Sciences, 2016

Thesis Title: Potato and Potato Virus Y: The Effect of Cultivar, Seed Type, and Defense-Inducing Agents on PVY Incidence 
Current Position:  Towne's Harvest Garden Production Manager, Montana State University