Dr Doug Sponsler



The aim of my doctoral research was to bring a landscape ecology perspective to questions of honey bee foraging behavior, pesticide exposure, and overall colony success. While this line of inquiry proved fruitful, it also brought into clear focus the critical knowledge gaps that remain regarding the relationship between pollinators and landscape, particularly in urban habitats. The goal of my postdoctoral research is to explore the internal complexity of urban habitats with respect to pollinator foraging and to connect the urban ecology of pollinators with the needs of urban agricultural stakeholders. Pursuit of these questions requires studies of large spatial and temporal scale, a challenge recently made feasible by high-throughput pollen identification through DNA metabarcoding, a technique that I helped pioneer as part of my doctoral work and that now forms the methodological cornerstone of my ongoing research.



2016           Ph.D., Entomology, The Ohio State University 

2010           B.S., Biology, Cedarville University




Sponsler DB, Johnson RM. 2017. Poisoning a superorganism. Bee World 95:30-32.

Sponsler DB, Matcham EG, Lin C-H, Lanterman JL, Johnson RM. 2017. Spatial and taxonomic patterns of honey bee foraging: a choice test between urban and agricultural landscapes.    Journal of Urban Ecology 3:1-7.

Sponsler DB, Johnson RM. 2016. Mechanistic modeling of honey bee pesticide exposure: the missing   keystone of honey bee toxicology. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 36:871-881.

Sponsler DB, Johnson RM. 2015. Honey bee success predicted by landscape composition in Ohio, USA. PeerJ 3:e838.

Richardson RT, Lin C-H, Sponsler DB, Quijia-Pillajo JO, Goodell K, Johnson RM. Application of ITS2 metabarcoding to determine the provenance of pollen collected by honey bees in an  agroecosystem. Applications in Plant Sciences 3:1400066

Sponsler DB. 2015. Honey bee success in Ohio’s landscapes. Ohio Beekeeping 4:26-27.

Sponsler DB, Lin C-H, Johnson RM. 2014. Honey bee losses and toxic corn see dust. Ohio  Beekeeping 3:11, 23



2016    Associated faculty, Ohio State Agricultural Technical Institute, Wooster, OH

·           Lecturer: Pesticides and Their Use (BIOTECH 2219T). Designed and taught course

·           Lab instructor: General Entomology (BIOTECH 2218T)

2016    Research mentor. Mentored undergraduate student in study of honey bee foraging             behavior, leading to coauthored paper (Sponsler et al. 2017).

2016    Science Olympiad coach (volunteer), Orrville Middle School, Orrville, OH

2015    Research mentor. Mentored high school student in senior capstone project                           involving honey bee foraging and pollen nutrition

2014     NSF GK-12 teaching fellow, The Ohio State University (OARDC), Wooster, OH

·            Taught philosophy of science and research methods; led research project (Central              Christian High School, Kidron, OH)

·            Coached Science Olympiad team (Orrville Middle School, Orrville, OH)

2014-15   Guest lecturer, Basic Beekeeping, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

2013-15   Guest lab instructor, Basic Beekeeping, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

2012        Graduate teaching assistant, Energy Transfer and Development (BIO 113)