Michael Andree, University of California Cooperative Extension, Field and Lab Technician, Crop Protection Agent
Based out of the Butte County Cooperative Extension in Oroville, CA I am a member of the “Bee Team” created by the Bee Informed Partnership as a tool to help bridge the gap between scientists and beekeepers. The team works directly with bee breeders in the field and has been coined as those with their “boots on the ground”. We assemble field and lab data through hive inspections, surveys, and sample collection. The data and samples we accumulate are processed by the Bee Research Lab in Beltsville, MD where reports for beekeepers are generated. Our most essential duty is to report results to beekeepers empowering them to make more informed management decisions. Read my blog here.
Rachel Bozarth, University of Maryland, Faculty Research Assistant
I work for the University of Maryland as a research assistant analyzing honey bee alcohol samples from the Bee Informed Partnership and the APHIS National Honey bee Survey. I specialize in Nosema spore counts, but also enjoy field work in the USDA BRL bee yards. I have my bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Wesley College and I wish to continue my education in Entomology and beekeeping. Before coming to BIP, I worked on a variety of projects at UMD including scouting corn fields for brown marmorated stink bug, testing the effectiveness of SHB traps and assisting with horticulture research at the UMD Wye Research Center. I love the learning environment my job provides and in the future I hope to start a bee yard of my own. Read my blog here.
Heather Eversole, University of Maryland, Faculty Research Assistant
As a Faculty Research Assistant, I am a part of the Bee Diagnostic team located at the University of Maryland, College Park. I process samples for the Bee Informed Partnership and APHIS National Honey Bee Survey, primarily seeking out the parasitic mite, Varroa. I wear many hats including generating reports, managing lab functions as well as assisting undergraduates with honey bee related projects. Prior to my honey bee research interests I took part in submerged aquatic vegetation research projects located on the Chesapeake Bay as well as field work involving mangroves in Belize and Florida. You might say I was “stung” by honey bees and now I am hooked. I have my bachelor’s degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Maryland and always eager to expand my entomology knowledge. Read my blog here.
Elizabeth Frost, University of California Cooperative Extension, Field and Lab Technician, Crop Protection Agent
As a Field and Lab Technician on the California “Bee Team” branch of the Bee Informed Partnership I provide tech-transfer services for bee breeders in Northern California. Services include hive inspection, sampling for Varroa and Nosema, testing breeder queen colonies for hygienic behavior, and assisting in collaborative breeding efforts utilizing instrumental insemination. I received my bachelor’s degrees in English and Italian and a minor in Entomology from UC Davis in 2008. Prior to joining the CA “Bee Team” I was a Field Technician for the Midwest “Bee Team” for the summer of 2012 and was a Technician at the Harry Laidlaw Honey Bee Research Facility from 2008 to 2012. I am based out of University of California Cooperative Extension, Butte County in Oroville, CA. Read my blog here.
Andrew Garavito, University of Maryland, Faculty Research Assistant
My interest in Honey bees began while working as a field technician for Dr. Galen Dively. I helped with hive management, in-hive sampling, and the preparation of hive samples (wax, honey, bee bread, bees and larvae) to be tested for Imidacloprid. I was immediately fascinated with Honey bees, so I jumped at the opportunity to work in the vanEngelsdorp lab at UMD during my last semester as an undergraduate. Upon graduation with my BS in General Biology, I was offered a position in the vanEngelsdorp lab and the Bee Informed Partnership. I am looking forward to helping out with the various BIP projects here at UMD.
Marjorie Gurganus, North Carolina State University, Research Associate, Tarpy Lab
I work as a research associate analyzing honey bee samples for the presence of honey bee viruses. I have a B.S. in Entomology from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in Genetics from NCSU. I started keeping bees in 2009 and have had one to twelve hives since then. I am very active in wildlife and pet rescue. So when I learned our bees were suffering great losses, I wanted to help save them too. Having an entomology degree, I was not afraid of bees and hymenoptera was one of my favorite orders. My previous research was on Drosophila, mapping genes for pesticide resistance, bristle number, and genotype by environment (temperature) interaction.
Grace Kunkel, University of Maryland, Faculty Research Assistant
I’m a faculty research assistant at the University of Maryland helping out with the Bee Informed Partnership. Before working with BIP I was hunkered down a few doors away from the vanEngelsdorp lab working my on masters degree in entomology. I first became interested in bees through a beekeeping course, and helping out with honeybee field studies at UMD as an undergraduate. I knew I wanted to keep studying bees from the first time I opened a hive and got to watch the bees interact, and the honey isn’t bad either! I am really excited to now be working with BIP and in particular corresponding with beekeepers from around the country.
I’m a part of the Midwest Bee Team based out of the University of Minnesota. I work with commercial migratory beekeepers in North Dakota and Minnesota to help them monitor pest and disease levels. Before I was on the Midwest Team, I was on the CA Bee Team working for the Northern California bee breeders. I was introduced to honey bees during my last semester as an undergrad when I took a class on social insects with Dr. Marla Spivak. Marla asked me to work in the U of MN Bee Lab over the summer, and have been enthralled with bees ever since. My main interests are bee breeding, Varroa, disease ecology, and extension work. I received both a BS in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior and a MS in Entomology from the University of Minnesota. Read my blog here.
Meghan McConnell, University of Maryland, Faculty Research Assistant
I graduated from the University of Maryland with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science & Technology. Before coming to the Bee Informed Partnership, I interned with the USDA for a year working with invasive plant species, submerged aquatic vegetation and pollinators. I also worked for a short time at the Institute of Applied Agriculture as an Undergraduate Technology Apprentice. During my four years at UMD I fell in love with insects, pollinators, and spiders and I hope to continue my education in Entomology at UMD.
Jessica Pasciak, University of Illinois, Economic Graduate Research Assistant
I am a graduate student in Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois, with an Environmental Management concentration. I contribute to to the BIP by adding an economic analysis to the survey data. I have been working things such as cost- benefit analyses, a multi-factoral analysis of the management survey data, marketing plans, and a long term sustainable business plan for the BIP. I am very excited to be working with such a great, hardworking group of people. The mission of the BIP is one that is very important to the future of our food supply and the environment that we all live in, and I am honored to help in the cause!
Karen Rennich, University of Maryland, Project Manager
As the Project Manager of the Bee Informed Partnership and the APHIS National Survey, I am based out of the University of Maryland’s Entomology Department but also have the pleasure of working with the USDA Bee Research Lab. I am fortunate to work closely with all members of our team and other organizations throughout the U.S. and I get to tackle everything from data analysis to field work and all jobs in between to keep our goals in sight and moving toward our milestones. I have a B.S. in ocean engineering from Purdue University and an M.S. in ocean engineering from the Johns Hopkins University. I designed and worked on large, underwater Navy sensor systems when I was employed by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory for 14 years. I have been a beekeeper for 6 years and manage 10 colonies at home. Seeing the Bee Informed Partnership evolve from paper to reality is exciting and inspiring. Read my blog here.
Gary Reuter, University of Minnesota, Research Technician
Karen Roccasecca, University of Maryland, Assistant Project Manager
“What are you most looking forward to with the Bee Informed Project?”
“I am looking forward to working with a great group of people to help solve some of the problems facing the honey bee.”
“What honey bee attributes would you most like to have?”
“I would love to be able to fly and see the world from a honey bee’s point of view!”
Robert Snyder, University of California Cooperative Extension, Field and Lab Technician, Crop Protection Agent, Entomologist
I currently work out of the Butte County Cooperative Extension in Oroville, CA as a Crop Protection Agent. I received my B.S. in biology from Delaware Valley College, PA. There I attained a majority of my entomological knowledge from Dr. Chris Tipping and Dr. Robert Berthold. After graduation, I was an apiary inspector for 2 years at the Department of Agriculture in Pennsylvania. In my third year there, I still inspected some colonies but I mainly focused on The Pennsylvania Native Bee Survey (PANBS) where I pinned, labeled, entered data and identified native bees to genus species. Leo Donavall assisted me in learning the basics on positive Identifications of the native bees. Around the same time I began working on coordinating kit construction and distribution for the APHIS National Honey Bee Survey. I was also fortunate to conduct many of these surveys with fellow co-worker Mike Andree and Nathan Rice of USDA/ARS throughout California. All of these experiences have led me to where I am today, working to assist beekeepers in maintaining genetic diverse colonies resistant to parasites while reducing the use of chemical treatments in colonies. The BIP Diagnostic Lab at the University of MD is in an integral part of this process by generating reports in which we can track change and report to beekeepers vital information in a timely manner which may influence their treatment decisions.
Angela Spleen, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Epidemiologist Research Assistant
I am currently a doctoral student in the Biobehavioral Health Program at Penn State University. I work as an epidemiologist research assistant for the Bee Informed Partnership. My work at BIP focuses on the analysis of annual winter colony loss data. I assist in the publication of the annual winter colony loss report, including mapping state losses and assessing trends in winter colony loss. My background includes a B.S. in Biology from Kutztown University and a M.S. in Public Health Sciences from the Penn State University College of Medicine. I am glad that my work on the annual winter colony loss surveys will help assess the magnitude of and identify factors associated with colony loss.
Nathalie Steinhauer, University of Maryland
I am PhD student working under Dennis and on the BIP team, based at University of Maryland’s Entomology Department. I hold a Master in Biology from Universite Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium) and a Master Research in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation from Imperial College London (UK). My research interests range from fundamental evolution and population dynamics to applied work in conservation, with a keen appeal to ecological perspectives and to modeling. I will be conducing statistical and epidemiological studies on the data collected from the management surveys of the Bee Informed Partnership.
Robyn Underwood, University of Maryland, Assistant Project Manager
As an undergraduate at the University of Delaware, I was amazed to find a course called Apidologie, a course about just one species – the honey bee! I took it and loved every minute of lecture and especially enjoyed the lab where we suited up and headed to the apiary for 3 hours every Friday afternoon. Seventeen years later and with a PhD in Entomology focusing on Varroa mite control, I am thrilled to still be learning new things about honey bees! I also get to share my enthusiasm for biology as an Assistant Professor at Kutztown University. I am proud to be a part of the Bee Informed Partnership where I aid in survey writing, editing, and data collection. I also assist in writing reports of results of the survey as well as scientific journal articles.
I work in Extension for the University of Tennessee providing technical support for beeinformed.org and eXtension.org/bee_health. This includes website design / programming, and developing educational content in the subject of bees. I have been beekeeping since 1999 and earned a master’s degree in entomology in 2011 with the intent to apply my computing experience to bee research and education. Read my blog here.