BS, Biology, Hobart College (1993)
MS, Biology, Bucknell University (1995)
Ph.D, Entomology, University of California, Davis (2000)
Our lab studies the behavioral ecology of insect societies, with a primary focus on the proximate and ultimate mechanisms of honey bee queen behavior. In doing so, we attempt to address questions of basic science that have practical relevance. Our approach is to integrate a general understanding of bee biology to help improve overall colony health and productivity; in an era when the honey bee population is being severely impacted by any number of factors, we feel that it is necessary to become more proactive in asking questions that address not just basic (long-term) or applied (short-term) questions, but both.
We currently have five main research paradigms in the lab:
- Polyandry and resultant intracolony genetic diversity that multiple mating confers, particularly in the behavioral mechanisms that govern polyandry and the adaptive benefits to the colony
- Molecular and pollinator ecology, studying how honey bees fit into the greater community of pollinators and urban and agroecosystems
- Oxidative stress and social immunity, exploring the physiological and behavioral mechanisms and consequences of disease and stress
- Integrated pest management of parasites and pathogens, and
- The reproductive quality of queens and the genomic, pheromonal, social, and practical consequences of variation in queen reproductive potential.
Our extension program is targeted at disseminating information about honey bees and bee management to the public and beekeeping groups, working with local, state, and national beekeeping associations, and administering novel extension initiatives such as the online Beekeeper Education & Engagement System (BEES) and the NC State Queen & Disease Clinic.