Melanie Kammerer


M.S. Ecology, Pennsylvania State University (2013)

B.S. Agroecology with minors in Agronomy and Plant Pathology, Schreyer Honors College, Pennsylvania State University (2011)


Research Interests

I’m broadly interested in ecosystem services provided by plant communities in agricultural landscapes and the role of crop and non-crop habitats in supporting beneficial insects. My PhD focuses on understanding how both local site conditions and landscape features provision diverse, abundant wild bee communities. I use a combination of field data, statistical, and spatial modeling approaches to make predictions about wild bee responses to floral resources and abiotic factors at multiple scales. I’m aiming to improve the cost-effectiveness of pollinator conservation in agricultural landscapes by helping famers strategically locate new plantings for bees based on existing resources.


I really enjoy quantitative projects am struck by the compelling potential of pairing field data and models to generate new hypotheses and support applied decision making. Leading into my main PhD focus, I was involved in a landscape modeling project looking at the potential effect of herbicide drift on field edge plants and pollinators in the mid-west USA, and during my M.S. work I studied the role of plant diversity in supporting wild bees in Pennsylvania apple production. When not working I enjoy hiking, gardening, music, ballroom dance and ballet.

To receive updates about my work, follow my profile on ResearchGate.



Williams A, NR Jordan, RG Smith, MC Hunter, M Kammerer, DA Kane, RT Koide, AS Davis. 2018. A regionally-adapted implementation of conservation agriculture delivers rapid improvements to soil properties associated with crop yield stability. Scientific Reports. 8:8467

Kammerer MA, DJ Biddinger, NK Joshi, EG Rajotte, DA Mortensen. 2016. Modeling Local Spatial Patterns of Wild Bee Diversity in Pennsylvania Apple Orchards. Landscape Ecology. 31:2459-2469

Kammerer MA, DJ Biddinger, EG Rajotte, DA Mortensen. 2016. Local Plant Diversity Across Multiple Habitats Supports a Diverse Wild Bee Community in Pennsylvania Apple Orchards. Environmental Entomology. 45:32-48.

Williams A, MC Hunter, M Kammerer, DA Kane, NR Jordan, DA Mortensen, RG Smith, S Snapp, AS Davis. 2016. Soil water holding capacity mitigates downside risk and volatility in US rainfed maize: Time to invest in soil organic matter? PLoS ONE 11(8): e0160974.

Joshi NK, T Leslie, EG Rajotte, MA Kammerer, M Otieno, DJ Biddinger. 2015. Comparative Trapping Efficiency to Characterize Bee Abundance, Diversity, and Community Composition in Apple Orchards. Annals of the Ent Society of America. 108:785–799.



2018- USDA NIFA AFRI Pre-doctoral Fellowship

2018- Ralph O. Mumma Graduate Award, Department of Entomology, PSU

2017- Graduate Student Research Grant, USDA Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education

2017- Graduate Student Competitive Grant, College of Agricultural Sciences, PSU

2017- Apes Valentes Research Grant, Center for Pollinator Research, PSU

2016- ‘Tag Along’ International Travel Award, College of Agricultural Science International Programs Office, PSU

2016- Sahakian Family Endowment Graduate Education International Travel Award, College of Agricultural Science, PSU

2015- Dorothy Anderson Graduate Fellowship for Women Recruitment Award, PSU Graduate School