Jason Cryan

Deputy Director and Chief, Research & Collections

11 West Jones Street, Raleigh, NC 27601


  • Ph.D. in Entomology, North Carolina State University, 1999
  • M.S. in Entomology, North Carolina State University, 1995
  • B.A. 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.

To learn more about Jason's research, please visit www.planthopper.com

Peer-Reviewed Publications

  • Cryan, J.R. 2005. Molecular Phylogeny of Cicadomorpha (Insecta: Hemiptera: Cicadoidea, Cercopoidea, and Membracoidea): Adding Evidence to the Controversy. Systematic Entomology 30: 563-574.
  • Cryan, J.R., and G.J. Svenson. 2010. Family-level relationships of the spittlebugs and froghoppers (Hemiptera: Cicadomorpha: Cercopoidea). Systematic Entomology 35: 393-415.
  • Cryan, J.R., and J.M. Urban. 2012. Higher-level phylogeny of the insect order Hemiptera: Is Auchenorrhyncha really paraphyletic? Systematic Entomology 37: 7-21.
  • Cryan, J.R., B.M. Wiegmann, L.L. Deitz, C.H. Dietrich, and M.F. Whiting. 2004. Treehopper trees: Phylogeny of Membracidae (Hemiptera: Cicadomorpha: Membracoidea) based on molecules and morphology. Systematic Entomology 29: 441-454.
  • Urban, J.M., and J.R. Cryan. 2009. Entomologically famous, evolutionarily unexplored: The first phylogeny of the lanternfly family Fulgoridae (Insecta: Hemiptera: Fulgoroidea). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 50: 471-484.

Fields of Research