My group uses honey bees as the main model to study a variety of exciting biological questions. Specifically, I am interested in the genetics of complex traits, genomics, social behaviour, and ageing. In addition, we address the urgent problem of honey bee health by studying general stress responses and the interactions among parasitic Varroa mites, the viruses they vector, and their honey bee hosts.
My students and I are a dynamic, collaborative group, amalgamated by our love for scientific exploration of the natural world around us. Pollinators, and honey bees in particular, are critical contributors to this natural world and are also vital to human food production. They live in complex societies that are fun to explore and add a level of biological organization that allows for unique tests of biological theory.
We employ a variety of research approaches, ranging from advanced apiculture, behavioural observations, and approaches used in disease ecology to theoretical modeling, transcriptome profiling and other bioinformatic analyses of large-scale data sets, and molecular lab techniques, such as microsatellite genotyping and gene expression analysis.