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Research Interests

  • Science education and outreach
  • Invasive insect species biology


  • PhD, Penn State University
  • BS, Cornell University


Jim McNeil teaches undergraduate and graduate/professional courses in conservation studies for the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation. As an educator, he is interested in improving science education and outreach, particularly in using hands-on methods to illustrate scientific principles.  As an entomologist, he is interested in expanding awareness of issues related to the monitoring and conservation of insect species.  He is particularly interested in invasive insect species biology, especially invasive forest pests and how they can be controlled.

Selected Publications

Jim McNeil and Megan A. Jones. April 2018. Data Management using National Ecological Observatory Network’s (NEON) Small Mammal Data with Accompanying Lesson on Mark Recapture Analysis. Teaching Issues and Experiments in Ecology, Vol. 13: Practice #9 [online].

McNeil, J., A. DeLuycker, and S. Putman. (2018) Using Environmental DNA to Connect Lab Science with Field Practice.  The American Biology Teacher. 80(4): 285-289. DOI:

Hoover, K., M.J. Grove, M. Gardner, D.P. Hughes, J. McNeil, and J. Slavicek.  2011.  A gene for an extended phenotype.  Science.  333:1401.

McNeil, J., D. Cox-Foster, J. Slavicek, and K. Hoover. 2010. Contributions of immune responses to developmental resistance in Lymantria dispar challenged with baculovirus. Journal of Insect Physiology. 56 (9): 1167-1177.

McNeil, J., D. Cox-Foster, M. Gardner, J. Slavicek, S. Thiem, and K. Hoover. 2010. Pathogenesis of Lymantria dispar multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (LdMNPV) in L. dispar and mechanisms of developmental resistance. Journal of General Virology. 91:  1590-1600.

McNeil, J. 2009. The ecology of death: Forensic entomology as a teaching tool. The American Biology Teacher. 72 (3): 154-156.

McNeil, J. 2009. Viruses as biological control agents of insect pests. eOrganic article.

McNeil, J. 2009. Fungi for the biological control of insect pests. eOrganic article.

McNeil, J. 2008. Candy bugs: Using a skit to illustrate biological resistance. The American Biology Teacher. 70 (4): 200.

Courses Taught

  • CONS 402: Applied Conservation
  • CONS 490: Integrated Conservation Strategies
  • CONS 640: Adaptive Management for Conservation Success

Get in touch

Jim McNeil