University Scholar Professor
1558A Thomas Hall
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.
- Drone honey bees are disproportionately sensitive to abiotic stressors despite expressing high levels of stress response proteins, COMMUNICATIONS BIOLOGY (2022)
- Effects of planted pollinator habitat on pathogen prevalence and interspecific detection between bee species, SCIENTIFIC REPORTS (2022)
- Evaluating the impact of increased pollinator habitat on bee visitation and yield metrics in soybean crops, AGRICULTURE ECOSYSTEMS & ENVIRONMENT (2022)
- Impact of Honey Bee Migratory Management on Pathogen Loads and Immune Gene Expression is Affected by Complex Interactions With Environment, Worker Life History, and Season, JOURNAL OF INSECT SCIENCE (2022)
- The molecular basis of socially induced egg-size plasticity in honey bees, ELIFE (2022)
- Variation in the reproductive quality of honey bee males affects their age of flight attempt, PEERJ (2022)
- Assessment and Comparison of Two Different Methods to Extract Nucleic Acids From Individual Honey Bees, ANNALS OF THE ENTOMOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA (2021)
- Colony-level pesticide exposure affects honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) royal jelly production and nutritional composition, CHEMOSPHERE (2021)
- Honey bee queen health is unaffected by contact exposure to pesticides commonly found in beeswax, SCIENTIFIC REPORTS (2021)
- Introduction of Varroa destructor has not altered honey bee queen mating success in the Hawaiian archipelago, SCIENTIFIC REPORTS (2021)