Team

Disclaimer – This information is correct to the best of my knowledge.

Alumni: Please send me updated information!

Olav Rueppell

(Group Leader, Mentor, and PI)  –  CV_OR
Office: CW-468A Bio Science – Centre Wing
Email: olav@ualberta.ca
Phone: (+1) 780-492-5461
Office hours: Due to COVID-19 only by online appointment

UofA Lab Members:

Jacob Herman (PhD student): I earned my Bachelors degree in Entomology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where I worked with Dr. Gene Robinson on various components of honey bee Neuroethology and Evolution. After this, I attained my Master’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior under the supervision of Dr. Ulrich Mueller. My thesis focused on studying the ecology and population dynamics of Apis florea, the Dwarf Asian Honey Bee, and involved the collection of natural colonies spanning all of India. I have joined the Rueppell lab in hope of continuing my work on Asian Honey Bees, and better understanding the ecology and genetic architecture driving complex adaptations to stress and life history across Apis. I am transitioning from UNCG to UofA.
 TBD
 TBD

UNCG Lab Members:

Esmaeil Amiri (Postdoc): I worked as a professional beekeeper while completing my undergraduate studies in Animal Science at the University of Mazandaran. In 2008, I was awarded an European scholarship to complete my Master’s degree in the Erasmus Mundus – Animal Breeding and Genetics (EM-ABG) program. My involvement in a bioinformatics project and knowledge gained with the completion of Master’s thesis have provided me with a solid foundation in molecular genetics and statistical genomics. In 2011, I joined the PhD program at Aarhus University, Denmark to pursue my interest in honey bee research with the aim of identifying alternative ways to combat viral disease in honey bee queens. My research provided the first and only empirical evidence of a sexually transmitted viral disease in honey bees. In 2016, I joined the collaborative team of Dr. Rueppell, Dr. David R. Tarpy (https://www.ncsuapiculture.net/), and Dr. Micheline K. Strand (Army Research Office) as a postdoctoral fellow to expand my knowledge in honey bee health and investigate various stresses of honey bees. My various projects are centering on honey bee viruses and their interactions with other environmental stressors. If you are interested to learn more about my research, please visit my pages at Researchgate or GoogleScholar
Beth Carswell (undergraduate): I am a pre-vet biology major at UNCG. After graduating in fall of 2020, I plan to go to either graduate or veterinary school. I currently work part time as a veterinary assistant at a hospital for small and exotic animals. Through my research in Dr. Rueppell’s lab I hope to expand my understanding of viral-host interaction and viral transmission.
Jacob Herman (PhD student): I earned my Bachelors degree in Entomology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where I worked with Dr. Gene Robinson on various components of honey bee Neuroethology and Evolution. After this, I attained my Master’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior under the supervision of Dr. Ulrich Mueller. My thesis focused on studying the ecology and population dynamics of Apis florea, the Dwarf Asian Honey Bee, and involved the collection of natural colonies spanning all of India. I have joined the Rueppell lab in hope of continuing my work on Asian Honey Bees, and better understanding the ecology and genetic architecture driving complex adaptations to stress and life history across Apis. I am transitioning from UNCG to UofA.
Phoebe Snyder (MSc student): In growing up on a farm in western Maryland, I developed a love for nature and agriculture from a young age. As I was completing my BS in Biology, I discovered a marriage of my two interests, nature and science, through honey bees. From that point on, I spent my time learning beekeeping practices and working on multiple honey bee studies that took me to California, Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania. I graduated from Stevenson University in spring 2018 and continued researching honey bees at the United States Department of Agriculture Bee Research Lab in Beltsville, Maryland for the summer prior to coming to UNCG. In beginning my MS in Biology with the Rueppell group, I aim for my research contributions to center around honey bee behavior and evolution, as well as the implications of disease on honey bee health.
Kaira Wagoner (Postdoc): I have been a nature lover all my life, but my formal education began at Guilford College, where I double majored in Biology and Health Sciences, and minored in Chemistry and Astronomy.   After the death of a dear friend from malaria, I was inspired to return to school to study malaria-carrying mosquitoes. My master’s thesis was entitled “Identification of morphologic and chemical markers of aestivating conditions in female Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes.” This work fostered my interest in the chemical ecology of insects, although for my doctorate I decided to switch my focus to a beneficial insect – the honey bee.   I was particularly interested in the fascinating social immune mechanism hygienic behavior, the ability of adult honey bees to detect and remove unhealthy brood from the hive, improving the overall health of the colony.  My doctoral dissertation was an investigation of the relationships between common stressors, brood-signaling, hygienic behavior, and selective breeding in the honey bee.  As a post-doctoral fellow, I have continued this work, and am currently using natural honey bee stress signals to develop an assay for the improved selection of hygienic behavior.
Prashant Waiker (PhD student): I received my BS-MS dual degree in Biological Sciences with a minor in Chemistry in 2015 from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Bhopal in India. Since my undergraduate studies, I was interested in Genetics and Evolution and I have worked in various research projects involving diverse model organisms such as Drosophila, Arabidopsis, Bacteria, and Yeast. I worked with Dr. Chandan Sahi and completed a Master’s thesis on yeast genetics where I investigated the interactions of spliceosomal disassembly complex proteins. After graduating, I worked at a Metagenomics lab for one year, during which I worked in various projects to identify bacterial and fungal diversity of environmental samples. In 2016, I joined UNCG as a PhD student with a long-term goal to be a researcher in evolutionary biology and genomics. I joined Dr. Olav Rueppell’s lab in 2017 and since then I am working on understanding meiotic recombination in social insects – specially in subterrestrial termites and western honey bees – and how high recombination rates are related to eusociality. I like to watch movies and travel when I am not in the lab. Check my Website.

 

Past UNCG Graduate Lab Members:

Carlos Vega Melendez: “Effects of early developmental stress in Apis mellifera” (PhD: 2013 – 2019), now working at USDA.
Shilpi Bhatia Shilpi Bhatia: “Genetic architecture of honey bee virus susceptibility” (PhD incomplete: 2017 – 2019)
Anissa Kennedy: “Increased Stress Resistance in Socially Manipulated Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Workers” (MSc: 2016 – 2018), now PhD student in Mainz, Germany.
Taylor Reams: “Examining the Factors Influencing Varroa destructor Host Selection of Apis mellifera Larvae” (MSc: 2016 – 2018), now PhD student at Texas A&M.
Hongmei Li-Byarlay: “Genomic studies of stress resistance in honey bees” (NCSU-affiliated postdoc: 2014 – 2017), now Assistant Professor at Central State University
Bertrand Fouks: “Genomic studies of recombination and aging in honey bees” (2014 – 2015), now postdoc at the University of Munster, Germany.
Wendy Zuluaga Smith: “Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus in Apis mellifera queens: Impact on colony role, transmission routes, and immune priming” (MSc: 2014 – 2016), now working at LabCorp.
Katelyn Miller: “Construction and Fine-Scale Analysis of a High-Density, Genome-Wide Linkage Map to Examine Meiotic Recombination in the Honey Bee, Apis mellifera” (MSc: 2012 – 2014), now postdoc at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.
Ming Huang: “Genetics of oxidative stress resistance in honey bees” (NCSU-affiliated postdoc: 2012 – 2014), now working at Eurofins.
Kurt Langberg: “Testing the Effects of Oxidative Stress on Genomic Recombination in the Honey Bee, Apis mellifera.” (MSc: 2012 – 2014), now working at the University of Virginia.
Humberto Freire Boncristiani: “Functional genomics of IAPV infection in honey bees” (Postdoc: 2011 – 2013), now working at the University of Florida.
Ryan Kuster: “Expression Levels of Immune-genes in Developing Workers of Apis mellifera in Response to Reproductive Timing and Infestation Level by the Parasitic Mite Varroa destructor.” (MSc: 2010 – 2012), undergraduate (2009), now working at the University of Tennessee.
Mike Simone-Finstroem: “Honey bee stress and aging” (NCSU-affiliated postdoc: 2011 – 2012), now working at the USDA ARS Honey Bee Lab in Baton Rouge.
Cordelia Forkpah (Sackey-Mensah): “The Effect of Xenobiotics on the Honeybee Adult Intestinal Stem Cell Proliferation.” (MSc: 2009 – 2012), now working at the University of Rochester.
Laura Tucker (Willard): “Development and Analysis of Primary Cultures from the Midgut of the Honey Bee, Apis mellifera.” (MSc: 2008 – 2012), DVM in Minnesota.
Emily McLean (Meznar): “Genomic Synteny and Comparison of Recombination between A. mellifera (the European Honey Bee) and A. florea (the Red Dwarf Honey Bee).” (MSc: 2007 – 2009), now Assistant Professor at Emory University.
Allie Graham: “The Genetic Architecture of Reproductive Differences in Workers of Africanized and European Honey Bees, Apis mellifera.” (MSc: 2007 – 2009), now postdoctoral researcher at the University of Utah.
Kristen Ward: “A Study of Cellular Proliferation and Apoptosis in Short- and Long-lived Honey Bees, Apis mellifera.  ” (MSc: 2004 – 2006), Physician at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital.

 

Past UNCG Undergraduate Lab Members:

 

 

Asia Brannon (2018-2020)

Medical assistant with Duke Primary Care

Cristian Hernandez (2019 – 2020)

Jackson Keever (2020)

Anh Pham (2019 – 2020)

Emily Jordon (2019)

Medical School (University of West Virginia)

Shaun Pitts (2019 – 2020)

Sarah Krug (2018 – 2019)

Tatiana Molina-Morales (2018 – 2019)

Medical School (Colombia)

Kali Cox (2018 – 2019)

Matthew Hill (2019)

Graduate School (NC A&T University)

Spencer Moore (2019)

Graduate School (University of Colorado at Boulder)

Maya Brody (2019)

Industry

Kevin Le (2017-2018)

Kimberlyn Eversman (2018)

Graduate School (University of Tennesee Knoxville)

Mohamad Omar Ani (2018)

Medical School (University of Pennsylvania)

Katherine Barrs (2018)

Zea Robinson (2018)

Max McCall (2017 – 2018)

Medical School (University of Central Florida)

Saman Baral (2017 – 2018, Honors Thesis)

Graduate School (NCSU)

 Eden Simmons (2018)

Foray Keita (2017 – 2018)

 Mustafa Noori (2016 – 2017)

Samyra Blackeney (2017)

Erin Estes (2017)

 Christopher Reid (2017)

Mark Rothermund (2017)

Franco Abad (2017)

 Antron Spooner (2017)

Medical School (Howard University)

 Talia Heckman (2016)

 Timothy Delory (2016)

Graduate School (Utah State University)

 Karen Funderburk (2016 – 2017)

Graduate School (Arizona State University)

 Katherina Santiago (2016)

 Sherry Browne (2016)

MRes in Biomedical Science and Translational Medicine

 Sara Rubio-Correa (2015 – 2017)

Graduate School (UNC-Chapel-Hill)

 Heeral Lakhani (2015 – 2016)

  Greg Seddon (2015 – 2016)

Industry

 Chelsea MaLyn Lawhorn (2015), left

Graduate School (NCSU)

 Rachel Schomaker (2015), right

Graduate School (University of South Carolina)

 Tinaye Mutetwa (2015 – 2017, Honors thesis)

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

 Samantha McPherson (2015)

Graduate School (NCSU)

 Basema Khan (2014)

 Ashley LaVere (2014)

Graduate School (University of Georgia)

 Quinton Irby (2014 – 2015)

 Eli Thompson (2014)

 Jasmine Everett (2014)

 Daniel Smith (2013 – 2015), left

Industry

 Juan Collazo (2013 – 2015), right

Medical School (Wake Forest University)

Babak Yousefi (2013 – 2016, Honors thesis)

Dental School (UNC Chapel-Hill)

Caitlin Ross (2012 – 2014)

Graduate School (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)

 Tiffany Fowler (2012 – 2016)

High School Teacher

 Matthew Phillips (2012 – 2015)

Graduate School (University of Delaware)

 Francisco Belinchon (2012 – 2013)

Graduate School (University of Glasgow)

 Kayla Jackson (2012)

 Candice Harrison (2011)

 Bobbee Vannasane (2011 – 2013)

UNC Dental School

 Dominick DeFelice (2011 – 2014, Honors thesis)

Medical School (UNC Chapel-Hill)

 Tara McCray (2011)

Graduate School (University of Illinois at Chicago)

Stephen Meier (2010)

 Dawit Adnew (2009)

 Luke Dixon (2009 – 2012)

High Point University

 Ellen Lonon (2009)

   Michelle McQuage (2009)

 Nicholas Arvanitis (2009)

 Danielle Lucas (2009 – 2010)

Graduate School (NCSU)

Stephen Brown (2009)

 Nathan Ross (2008)

High School Teacher

 Ashley Hayes (2008 – 2009)

Graduate School (UNC-Wilmington)

Matthew Whilhelm (2007)

Graduate School (University of Connecticut)

 Kaitlin Clinnin (2007 – 2008)

 Javier Luzon (2007 – 2008)

National Institutes of Health

 Miranda Hayworth (2007 – 2008)

MD-PhD Program (Georgia)

Robert Gove (2007)

Graduate School (University of Maryland)

 Megan Leagon (2007)

 Nels Johnson (2007)

Graduate School (Virginia Tech)

 Lauren Groves (2006 – 2007)

Medical School (Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine)

 Michael Munday (2006 – 2009, Honor thesis)

Veterinary Technician

 Jennifer Coleman (2006 – 2008, Honor thesis)

Research Technician (UNC Chapel-Hill)

 Megan Wallrichs (2006 – 2008, Honor thesis)

Graduate School (Delaware State)

Kari Fine (2005 – 2006)

Vet-MD School (University of Georgia)

 Dominique Buehler (2005 – 2006)

Graduate School (Switzerland)

 Anny Pena (2005 – 2006)

 Akuabata Kerns (2005 – 2006)

Preston Gardner (2005 – 2006)

Medical School (West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine)

 Caroline Mulcrone (2005)

Pharmacy School (Ohio)

Robyn Douglas (2004)

High School Teacher

 Oumar Seck (2003 – 2005)

Industry

 Rex Kirkman (2003 – 2004)