Dr. Dave Galbraith

Ph. D. Entomology, Pennsylvania State University (2015)
B.S. Biology, Pennsylvania State University (2010)

Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of Entomology, Pennsylvania State University

Recent advances in molecular tools have allowed us to examine the interactions between host and pathogen. These tools can also be used to examine epigenetic responses, mechanisms underlying selection for more or less virulent pathogens, and identify new pathogens. My research program uses honey bees as a model system to examine these questions in further detail. In the United States, beekeepers lose an average of 30% of their honey bee colonies each winter, and recent surveys of summer losses indicate that beekeepers lose an average of 20% of their colonies in the summer months as well. There are multiple factors that contribute to honey bee colony losses, but pathogens have been shown to play a major role. At this point, beekeepers currently have no direct management strategies to reduce pathogens in their colonies. The primary recommendation is to minimize exposure to other stressors that may increase pathogen loads, such as Varroa mite infestation and pesticides. Currently, the fields of honey bee pathology and immunity are still in their infancy, but they are growing rapidly with the increasing global demand for pollinators and rising economic costs associated with colony losses. In my dissertation work, I used physiological, transcriptomic, and epigenomic approaches to assess the role of epigenetic mechanisms in mediating conflict within honey bee colonies, including the discovery of a novel antiviral response pathway. As a postdoc, I expanded my research to examine factors associated with increasing pathogen virulence and also the identification of novel viruses.

Zanni V, Galbraith DA, Annoscia D, Bortolomeazzi R, Grozinger CM, Nazzi F (in prep). Prophylactic use of pollen to mitigate the deleterious effects of mite (Varroa destructor) infestation in honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies

Zanni V, Galbraith DA, Annoscia D, Grozinger CM, Nazzi F (in prep) Transcriptional signatures of parasitization and markers of colony decline in Varroa-infested honey bees (Apis mellifera).

Rivera-Vega LJ, Galbraith DA, Grozinger CM, Felton GW (in prep) Host plant driven transcriptome plasticity in the salivary glands of the cabbage looper (Trichoplusia ni).

Galbraith DA, Yi SV, Grozinger CM (in review) Evaluation of possible proximate mechanisms underlying the kinship theory of intragenomic conflict in social insects. Integrative and Comparative Biology

Galbraith DA, Kocher SD, Glenn T, Albert I, Hunt GJ, Strassmann JE, Queller DC, Grozinger CM (2016) Examination of the Role of the Kinship Theory of Genomic Imprinting in Mediating Social Interactions in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera). PNAS.

Galbraith DA, Yang X, Niño EL, Yi S, Grozinger C (2015) Parallel Epigenomic and Transcriptomic Responses to Viral Infection in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera). PLOS Pathog 11(3):e1004713.

Galbraith DA, Wang Y, Amdam G V., Page RE, Grozinger CM (2015) Reproductive physiology mediates honey bee (Apis mellifera) worker responses to social cues. Behav Ecol Sociobiol. doi:10.1007/s00265-015-1963-4.

Amsalem E, Galbraith DA, Cnaani J, Teal P, Grozinger CM (2015) Conservation and modification of genetic and physiological toolkits underpinning diapause in bumble bee queens. Molecular Ecology.

Weiner SA, Galbraith DA, Adams DC, Valenzuela N, Noll FB, Grozinger CM (2013) A survey of DNA methylation across social insect species, life stages, and castes reveals abundant and casteassociated methylation in a primitively social wasp. Naturwissenschaften 100(8):795–9

2015:  NSF-RCN laboratory exchange award
2014:  IUSSI-NAS Student Travel Award to attend The 17th Meeting of the International Union for the Study of Social Insects, Cairns, Australia.
2014:  University Office of Global Programs International Travel Award
2014:  Michael E. Duke Memorial Award
2013:  The Sahakian Family Travel Award, Penn State University
2013:  IUSSI-NAS Student Travel Award to attend the Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America, Austin, TX, USA.