B.A., Biology/Anthropology, University of Iowa, 2001
M.S., Entomology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2004
Ph.D., Entomology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2008
North Carolina State University, Genetics, 2008-2012
My lab studies insect evolution, diversity, and conservation, focusing on bees and wasps. Our research integrates across biology, from molecular (genomics, development, chemistry) to ecological, to address multiple facets of biodiversity.
- Discovering the processes generating morphological diversity including the evolution and genetics of mimetic color diversity in both bees and butterflies, and the developmental genetic mechanisms by which gall wasps (Cynipidae) induce predictable, sometimes elaborate plant gall morphologies.
- Exploring plant-pollinator coevolution, including addressing how floral secondary compounds drive visitation bias in bees.
- Examining variation in social strategies in bumble bees, such as studying how socially parasitic bumble bee genomes have changed upon reverting to a worker-less parasitic lifestyle.
- Helping to define species and understand speciation processes in bee lineages using integrative taxonomic approaches.
- Seeking solutions to bee declines through studying the dynamics of bee pathogens and the factors that drive them, applying techniques from the lab to the field.