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 organization and 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. Honey bees live in complex societies that can be explored in many ways and add a level of biological organization that allows for unique tests of biological theories.
We employ a variety of research approaches, including advanced apiculture, behavioural observations, approaches used in disease ecology, theoretical modeling and bioinformatic analyses of large-scale data sets, and molecular lab techniques to determine genotypes or gene expression at genomic scales.