Jason Cryan

Deputy Director and Chief, Research & Collections

11 West Jones Street, Raleigh, NC 27601


  • PhD in Entomology, North Carolina State University, 1999
  • MS in Entomology, North Carolina State University, 1995
  • BA in Zoology, The University of Vermont, 1992


  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, North Carolina State University, Department of Entomology
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, University at Albany [SUNY]; Dept. of Biological Sciences
  • Post-Doc, Zoology, Brigham Young University, 1999-2001

Research Interests

Jason's research focuses on evolutionary investigations of phytophagous (plant-feeding) insects in the hemipteran suborder Auchenorrhyncha; he is specifically interested in planthoppers (superfamily Fulgoroidea), spittlebugs and froghoppers (Cercopoidea), and treehoppers (Membracidae). He uses DNA nucleotide sequencing and comparative morphology to reconstruct the evolutionary history of these diverse and charismatic insects; using those results, Jason evaluates alternative theories of the evolution of insect anatomy, behavior, and biogeographical distribution. Many of the insect species included in his research projects are of worldwide economic and agricultural importance (including pests of rice, corn, and sugarcane), and so results of these projects may have broader implications for studies on the control of such insects.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

  • J.R. Cryan, and J.M. Urban. 2012. Higher-level phylogeny of the insect order Hemiptera: Is Auchenorrhyncha really paraphyletic? Systematic Entomology 37: 7-21.
  • Elsensohn, J.E., T. Anderson, J.R. Cryan, T. Durham, K.J.K. Gandhi, J. Gordon, R.K. Krell, M.L. Pimsler, A. Rivers, H. Spafford. 2019. From Research to Policy: Scientists Speaking for Science. Annals of the Entomological Society of America. doi: 10.1093/aesa/say057 Special Collection
  • Evangelista, O., A.M. Sakakibara, J.R. Cryan, and J.M. Urban. 2017. A phylogeny of the treehopper subfamily Heteronotinae reveals convergent pronotal traits (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha: Membracidae). Systematic Entomology 42: 410–428. DOI: 10.1111/syen.12221.
  • Paladini, A., D. Takiya, J.M. Urban, and J.R. Cryan. 2018. New World spittlebugs (Hemiptera: Cercopidae: Ischnorhininae): dated molecular phylogeny, classification, and evolution of aposematic coloration. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 120: 321-334. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2017.12.020
  • Urban, J.M., and J.R. Cryan. 2012. Two ancient bacterial endosymbionts have coevolved with the planthoppers (Insecta: Hemiptera: Fulgoroidea). BMC Evolutionary Biology 12: 87–105.

Fields of Research