Michael Greene Photo
Ph.D. • Dept. Chair • Professor • Biology Research Faculty
Department of Integrative Biology

Mailing Address:
Department of Integrative Biology
Campus Box 171
P.O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80217-3364

Physical Location:
1150 12th Street
SI 4115
Denver, CO 80204

Office Hours:

Drop-in hours: Tuesdays – 3:30PM to 5:30PM – Science 4115 and on Zoom

I use this session to provide individual attention to students. For example, I use this time to allow students to ask questions about course content, to address personal issues such as disability services requests, or to consult with me about how to improve their performance in the course. In these sessions, I can discuss the specifics about your grades with you.

During drop-in hours, I will see each student one-by-one.

I will hold drop-in hours in my office in the Science Building (room 4115). I will also provide access via Zoom in case you are not on campus.

I will see you on a first-come-first-serve basis. If you attend in person, please wait in the hallway until I invite you into my office. If you attend via Zoom, you will wait in a “waiting room” and I will respond to you in order.

Here is the Zoom link, also posted on Canvas, that we will use for drop-in hours:


I look forward to getting to know you better in these sessions.

Group Workshop: Thursdays – 11:00AM to 12:30PM– Science 4115 and on Zoom

These sessions differ from drop-in hours in that all students are invited to attend as a group. I use this session to workshop the information you learn in lecture and assignments. I call it a workshop because I ask that you bring questions to the session so that I can lead a group conversation about the topic. With my guidance, we will hold a group discussion about lecture information in a manner that compliments, but is different, than my approach in lecture. We will use lecture slides, online materials, and white boards to work through concepts.

I hold this as a group session because many of you do not immediately feel comfortable asking questions in my individual office hours and I have found that it greatly helps students learn the material, especially given that many perspectives on the topic are provided in the collaboration. Also, many of you are reluctant to ask questions in lecture, often because of your personality or because English is not your first language, and the workshop offers us a much smaller group with which to interact. Also, the workshops allow an opportunity for you to meet a small group of colleagues in the course.   

Due to the group nature of the workshop, I will not be able to discuss the specifics of your grades in this context unless no other students are present. I will also not be able to discuss private issues such as disability accommodations.

Other: By appointment, if necessary (scheduled by email).



Expertise Areas:
Chemical Ecology, Behavioral Ecology

Purdue University, Biochemistry, B.S., 1992
Oregon State University, Zoology, Ph.D., 1998
Oregon State University, Zoology, Post-Doctoral Fellow, 1999
Stanford University, Department of Biological Sciences, Post-Doctoral Fellow, 1999-2003

Dr. Greene takes a multidisciplinary approach towards understanding chemical communication in ants. The bulk of his current research involves the investigation of how ants utilize chemical recognition cues in order to inform behavioral decisions that in the aggregate can change colony behavior. He is particularly interested in cues present in the mixture of surface lipids, including hydrocarbon molecules, which coat the surface of ants. He investigates how such cues can inform task decisions in ants along with nestmate recognition and species recognition decisions. The general goals of his research are three-fold: 1) to understand the mechanisms by which semiochemicals, natural products that act as signals or cues, mediate animal physiology and behavior, 2) to characterize and identify the chemical structures of these semiochemicals along with factors regulating their production, and 3) to characterize the ecological, behavioral and social contexts under which they operate. He has also conducted studies on the chemical ecology of snake reproduction and bat social recognition. Dr. Greene has been funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Science Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health. http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2007/07/swarms/miller-text

Sturgis, S.J., Greene, M.J. and D.M. Gordon. 2011, Hydrocarbons on Harvester Ant (Pogonomyrmex barbatus) Middens Guide Forgers to the Nest. Journal of Chemical Ecology37:514-524.

Gordon, D.M., Guetz, A., Greene, M.J., and S. Holmes. 2011. Colony variation in the collective regulation of foraging by harvester ants. Behavioral Ecology22(2): 429-435.

Greene, M. J. 2010. Cuticular Hydrocarbon Cues in the Formation and Maintenance of Insect Social Groups.  In: G. Blomquist and A.G. Bagneres (eds.) Insect Hydrocarbons: Biology, Biochemistry and Chemical Ecology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Englert, A. C. and M. J. Greene. 2009. Chemically-Mediated Roostmate Recognition and Roost Selection by Brazilian Free-Tailed Bats (Tadarida brasiliensis). PLoS ONE 4(11): e7781.

Greene, M. J. and D. M. Gordon. 2007. How patrollers set foraging direction in harvester ants. American Naturalist, 179: 943-948.

Greene, M. J. and D. M. Gordon. 2007. Interaction rate informs harvester ant task decisions. Behavioral Ecology, 18: 451-455.

Greene, M. J. and D. M. Gordon. 2007. Structural complexity of chemical recognition cues affects the perception of group membership in the ants Linepithema humile and Aphaenogaster cockerelli. Journal of Experimental Biology, 210: 897-905. 

Volny, V. P., M. J. Greene, and D. M. Gordon.  2006. Brood production and lineage discrimination in the red harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex barbatus). Ecology, 87: 2194-2200.

Frederickson, M. E., M. J. Greene, and D. M. Gordon. 2005.  Ants bedevil devil’s gardens. Nature, 437: 495-496.

Greene, M. J. and R. T. Mason. 2005. The effects of cloacal secretions on brown tree snake behavior.  In: “Chemical Signals in Vertebrates, X.”  R. T. Mason, M. P. LeMaster, and D. Müller-Schwarze, (Eds). Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York, pp. 49-55.

Moore, I. T., M. J. Greene*, D. T. Lerner, C. E. Asher, R. W. Krohmer, D. L. Hess, Joan Whittier, and R. T. Mason. 2005. Physiological evidence for reproductive suppression in the introduced population of brown tree snakes (Boiga irregularis) on Guam. Biological Conservation, 121: 91-98. *Note: I. T. Moore and M. J. Greene contributed equally to the manuscript.

Greene, M. J. and D. M. Gordon. 2003. Cuticular hydrocarbons inform task decisions. Nature, 423: 32.

Human Physiology (BIOL 3225)
Mechanisms of Animal Behavior (BIOL 4250/5250)
Principles of Biological Research (BIOL 5705)