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Jesse Eiben

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Jesse Eiben
Dr. Jesse Eiben

Assistant Professor of Entomology

B.S., Albright College

M.S., Oklahoma State University

Ph.D., University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Applied Entomology and Manager of CAFNRM Teaching and Research Arthropod Collection (TRAC)


  • General Entomology (ENTO 304)
  • Insect Pest Control (ENTO 374)
  • Farm Animal Anatomy and Physiology(ANSC 350)
  • Animal Diseases and Parasites (ANSC 454)
  • Advanced Insect Taxonomy and Ecology (CBES 6XX)
CAFNRM Teaching and Research Arthropod Collection (TRAC) Lab


  • Broadly defined, I am an applied entomologist that uses methods of research relating to population growth prediction, taxonomy, genetics, and decision implementation to inform environmental management regimes in natural and human-modified environments.
  • Manager of the ~120,000 specimens (and counting!) of the UH Hilo CAFNRM Teaching and Research Arthropod Collection (TRAC)
  • Major Research Focus: Mauna Kea Alpine Biodiversity Baseline Assessment and Conservation Management Projects
  • Proactive high-quality environmental change and ecosystem management research on the summit of Mauna Kea has vastly improved ecosystem-level stewardship needs of the multiple users of the Mauna Kea summit allowing for data driven environmental management decisions relating to telescope facility operation (and potential building and/or decommissioning). Arthropod biodiversity is increasingly being used as an indicator of ecosystem health due to the myriad roles invertebrates play in trophic interactions in ecosystems. Arthropods account for the vast majority of species (endemic and introduced) on Mauna Kea, and because of this, arthropod baseline surveys are essential to the management of the UH Mauna Kea Science Reserve. Arthropod surveys inform practical conservation efforts applied to endemic species protections, such as habitat conservation of the wēkiu bug, and are used to monitor introduced species effects ecosystem-wide.  Additionally, the efficiency of required natural resources monitoring can be greatly increased with biodiversity sampling protocols proven to collect relevant data in the most efficient manner.  Detailed information about population growth and development of cryptic and rare species as well as potentially harmful introduced species can assist planning conservation actions, such as predicting appropriate survey times after restoration efforts to confirm successful species reproduction in restored areas. In today's natural resource management culture, efficiency, accountability and demonstrated success of management actions are priorities, and rigorous invertebrate monitoring can assist in meeting these demands.
  • The collaborative efforts of UH Hilo Entomology and Geography departments (Dr. Eiben and Dr. Perroy labs) and UHM CTAHR PEPS (Dr. Rubinoff, UH Insect Museum) have created detailed records and habitat models of the endemic arthropods in the alpine stone desert of Mauna Kea.  This unprecedented level of ecosystem inventory provides the level of detailed knowledge to monitor for and properly manage ecosystem changes to inform accurate data-driven natural resource management decisions in the UH Mauna Kea Science Reserve.

Active Research Projects

  • Mauna Kea Science Reserve Baseline Arthropod Biodiversity Assessment: Co-PI, Dr. Dan Rubinoff, UHM CTAHR, PEPS; Funding - UHH OMKM
  • The Exceptional Case of the Lantana Lace Bug: Major Collaborator, Dr. Tracy Johnson, US Forest Service, IPIF; Funding - USFS
  • Invasive Species Pathway Surveys for UH Managed Lands and Facilities; Funding - UHH OMKM

Selected Publications

Student Projects

Contact Information

Telephone: (808) 932-7153
Fax: (808) 932-7037
Office: CAB-105

200 W. Kawili St.
Hilo, HI 96720-4091