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Paul Feeny

Professor Emeritus

Paul Feeny

Educational Background

B.A. 1960 (Chemistry), Oxford University
M.S. 1961 (Chemistry), Oxford University
B.A. 1963 (Zoology), Oxford University
Ph.D. 1966 (Zoology), Oxford University


A major goal has been to explore the roles played by plant chemistry in the ecology and evolution of insect/host-plant associations. This work has focused on the swallowtail butterflies (family Papilionidae) and their host plants as a model system. A second goal has been to understand ecological and historical factors that lead to different patterns of defense and escape by plants against herbivores and pathogens.


Chemical ecology, insect-plant interactions, plant defense, apparency, coevolution, insect behavior, Papilionidae (swallowtail butterflies)


  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Graduate Fields

  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • Entomology


  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology


Traw, M.B. and P. Feeny. 2008. Glucosinolates and trichomes track tissue value in two sympatric mustards. Ecology 89:763-772.

Murphy, S.M. and P. Feeny. 2006. Chemical facilitation of a naturally occurring host shift by Papilio machaon butterflies (Papilionidae). Ecological Monographs 761:339-414.

Heinz, C.A. and P. Feeny. 2005. Effects of contact chemistry and host plant experience in the oviposition behaviour of the eastern black swallowtail butterfly. Animal Behaviour 69:107-115.

Sime, K.R., P.P. Feeny, and M. Haribal. 2000. Sequestration of aristolochic acids by the pipevine swallowtail, Battus philenor (L.): Evidence and ecological implications. Chemoecology 10:169-178.

Feeny, P. 1991. Chemical constraints on the evolution of swallowtail butterflies. In: P.W. Price, T.M. Lewinsohn, G.W. Fernandes, and W.W. Benson (eds.), Plant-animal interactions: Evolutionary ecology in tropical and temperate regions. J. Wiley and Sons, New York, pp. 315-339.

Feeny, P., K. Sachdev, L. Rosenberry, and M. Carter. 1988. Luteolin 7-0-(6"-0-malonyl)-B-D-glucoside and trans-chlorogenic acid: Oviposition stimulants for the black swallowtail butterfly. Phytochemistry 27(11):3439-3448.

Damman, H. and P. Feeny. 1988. Mechanisms and consequences of selective oviposition by the zebra swallowtail butterfly. Animal Behaviour 36:563-573.

Feeny, P., W.S. Blau, and P.M. Kareiva. 1985. Larval growth and survivorship of the black swallowtail butterfly in central New York. Ecological Monographs 55:167-187.

Berenbaum, M. and P.P. Feeny. 1981. Toxicity of angular furanocoumarins to swallowtails: Escalation in a coevolutionary arms race? Science 212:927-929.

Rausher, M.D. and P.P. Feeny. 1980. Herbivory, plant density and plant reproductive success: The effect of Battus philenor on Aristolochia reticulata. Ecology 61:905-917.

Blau, P.A., P.P. Feeny, L. Contardo, and D.S. Robson. 1978. Allylglucosinolate and herbivorous caterpillars: A contrast in toxicity and tolerance. Science 200:1296-1298.

Slansky, F., Jr. and P.P. Feeny. 1977. Stabilization of the rate of nitrogen accumulation by larvae of the cabbage butterfly on wild and cultivated food-plants. Ecological Monographs 47:209-228.

Feeny, P.P. 1976. Plant apparency and chemical defense. Recent Advances in Phytochemistry 10:1-40.

Arms, K., P.P. Feeny, and R.C. Lederhouse. 1974. Sodium: Stimulus for pudding behavior by tiger swallowtail butterflies, Papilio glaucus. Science 185:372-374.

Rehr, S.S., P.P. Feeny, and D.H. Janzen. 1973. Chemical defense in Central American non-ant-acacias. Journal of Animal Ecology 42:405-416.

Whittaker, R.H. and P.P. Feeny. 1971. Allelochemics: Chemical interactions between species. Science 171:757-770.

Feeny, P.P. 1970. Seasonal changes in oak leaf tannins and nutrients as a cause of spring feeding by winter moth caterpillars. Ecology 51:565-581.