Nicholas Teets

Nicholas Teets

Nicholas Teets

Nicholas Teets

Assistant Professor

317 Plant Science Lexington, KY 40546

Last Revised: Oct 23rd, 2023

Professional Biography


Visit the Teets Lab website at to learn more about our research.


Ph.D. Ohio State University, 2012

Research Interests

My lab uses an integrative approach to investigate the mechanistic basis of environmental stress tolerance in insects. Environmental stress comes in many forms, and it is a major determinant of species range and pest abundance. Invasive species’ distributions are largely determined by stress tolerance, and insect responses to climate change are dependent on their ability to adapt to new stresses. We employ a combination of organismal physiology, genetics, and “omics” to investigate the cellular and molecular mechanisms that allow insects to tolerate adverse conditions. Much of our research focuses on overwintering stress, both in temperate species and species from extreme environments like Antarctica. Long-term applications of our work include: 1) the ability to manipulate the overwintering success and field performance of beneficial insects, and 2) using insights from freeze-tolerant insects to develop new strategies for human organ cryopreservation.

Prospective Students

Students interested in pursuing a graduate degree (M.S., Ph.D.) in insect stress physiology should contact me directly. We also welcome motivated undergraduate students at all levels. Check the lab website for periodic updates on new positions.

Select Publications

  • Terhzaz, S., Teets, N.M., Cabrero, P., Henderson, L., Ritchie, M.G., Nachman, R.J., Dow, J.A.T., Denlinger, D.L., Davies, S.A., 2015. Insect capa neuropeptides impact desiccation and cold tolerance. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 112, 2882-2887.
  • Teets, N.M., Denlinger, D.L., 2014. Surviving in a frozen desert: environmental stress physiology of terrestrial Antarctic arthropods. J. Exp. Biol. 217, 84-93. 
  • Kelley, J.L., Peyton, J.T., Fiston-Lavier, A.S., Teets, N.M., Yee, M.C., Johnston, J.S., Bustamante, C.D., Lee, R.E., Denlinger, D.L., 2014. Compact genome of the Antarctic midge is likely an adaptation to an extreme environment. Nature Communications 5, 4611. 
  • Teets, N.M., Yi, S.X., Lee, R.E., Denlinger, D.L., 2013. Calcium signaling mediates cold sensing in insect tissues. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 110, 9154-9159. 
  • Teets, N.M., Denlinger, D.L., 2013. Physiological mechanisms of seasonal and rapid cold-hardening in insects. Physiol. Entomol. 38, 105-116. 
  • Teets, N.M., Peyton, J.T., Colinet, H., Renault, D., Kelley, J.L., Kawarasaki, Y., Lee, R.E., Denlinger, D.L., 2012. Gene expression changes governing extreme dehydration tolerance in an Antarctic insect. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 109, 20744-20749.

Profile Resources

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Contact Information

S-225 Ag Science Center Lexington, KY 40546-0091

(859) 257-7450