Haleigh Ray

Assitant Professor of Biology

Haleigh Ray, PhD, is a biologist who focuses her research on entomology and orchid biology, often finding ways to integrate the two together. She is also studying dragonfly ecology in central Florida ponds. At Stetson, she incorporates these subjects into the classroom and opportunities for undergraduate research. 

  • PhD, Entomology, University of Florida
  • MS, Entomology, University of Florida
  • BS, Biology, Illinois College


Haleigh Ray profile picture


Haleigh grew up in central Illinois, where she attended Illinois College as an undergraduate. While there, she developed a passion for entomology and orchids, completing internships with a focus on both fields. Wanting to incorporate the two, she attended the University of Florida for her MS degree where she studied management of insect pests on orchids. Following this, she took her research in a different direction, focusing on pollination biology of orchids. During her PhD she began to study the floral fragrance of the flowers, pollinators, and germination of orchid seeds post-pollination. Haleigh is now bringing her excitement in these interests to Stetson to work with undergraduate students in her classroom and research lab. Additionally, some of her current entomology research includes collaborative dragonfly ecology studies in central Florida habitats. 

More About Haleigh Ray

Areas of Expertise

  • Entomology
  • Orchid Biology
  • Floral Fragrances

Course Topics

  • Introductory Biology I
  • Introductory Biology II
  • Entomology
  • Tropical Biodiversity & Conservation

  • Pollinator interactions with orchids
  • Dragonfly ecology and habitat use
  • Floral fragrance composition
  • Insect pest management

  • Ray HA, and JL Gillett-Kaufman. 2022. By land and by tree: Pollinator taxa diversity of terrestrial and epiphytic orchids. Journal of Pollination Ecology 31: 174-185.
  • Ray HA, ME Kane, and JL Gillett-Kaufman. 2020. Effect of self- and cross-pollination treatments and microhabitat on seed germination of Prosthechea cochleata and Encyclia tampensis (Orchidaceae) in southern Florida. Southeastern Naturalist 19: 601-611. 
  • Ray HA, CJ Stuhl, and JL Gillett-Kaufman. 2019. Rapid collection of floral fragrance volatiles using a headspace volatile collection technique for GC-MS thermal desorption sampling. Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE)- e58928.
  • Ray HA, CJ Stuhl, ME Kane, JD Ellis, JC Daniels, and JL Gillett-Kaufman. 2019. Aspects of the pollination biology of Encyclia tampensis, the commercially exploited butterfly orchid, and Prosthechea Cochleata, the endangered clamshell orchid, in South Florida. Florida Ent omologist 102: 154-160.
  • Ray HA, CJ Stuhl, and JL Gillett-Kaufman. 2018. Floral fragrance analysis of Prosthechea Cochleata (Orchidaceae), an endangered native, epiphytic orchid in Florida. Plant Signaling and Behavior. 
  • Ray HA, and MA Hoy. 2014. Evaluation of the predacious mite Hemicheyletia Wellsina (Acari: Cheyletidae) as a predator of arthropod pests of orchids. Experimental and Applied Acarology 64: 287-298. 
  • Ray HA, and MA Hoy. 2014. Effects of reduced-risk insecticides on three orchid pests and two predacious natural enemies. Florida Entomologist 97: 972-978.
  • Ray HA, and MA Hoy. 2014. Role of silk webbing in the biology of Hemicheyletia Wellsina 
    (Acari: Cheyletidae). International Journal of Acarology 40: 577-581. 
    (Photograph of H. Wellsina by HA Ray used on journal cover)
  • Ray HA, JP McCormick, AL Stice, I Stocks, and LW Zettler. 2012. Occurrence of Boisduval scale, Diaspis Boisduvalii (Hemiptera: Diaspididae), on native epiphytic orchids in Collier Co., 
    Florida, including Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve. Florida Entomologist 95: 312-318.