BS Bioenvironmental Science, Texas A&M University
coadvised by David Biddinger
Honey bees (Apis mellifera) have long been the subject of pesticide sensitivity research to ensure that human food production is not harming one of nature's most important pollinators. However, less consideration has been given to bumble bees (Bombus impatiens) and mason bees (Osmia cornifrons), which are vital to Pennsylvania's crop production. Many growers now exclusively use different species of native bees as pollinators because they are more effective for certain crops. Therefore, it is vital that common pesticides be examined for their toxicity to many bee species. Recent research has shown that honey bees can no longer be used as an indicator species for native bee species, as sensitivities vary greatly.
My current work focuses on the comparing bumble bee (Bombus impatiens) fungicide sensitivity to other native pollinators. I would like to find the molecular mechanisms behind these differences and eventually develop a framework for predicting physiological changes in pollinators when exposed to pesticides. These predictions would allow growers to choose the right pollinator, pesticide, and application schedule for their needs.
2018 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship
2018 Vice President of Research: Excellence in Research Special Award
2018 Entomological Society of America Undergraduate Student Achievement in Entomology Award
2017, 2018 Texas A&M Undergraduate Research Opportunity in Entomology Grant