Neal Williams – PI
Pollination biology, bee ecology evolution and behavior, agroecology
Bumble bees, agroecology, foraging behavior, colony development, global change
I am a bumble bee ecologist interested in how anthropogenic changes to the landscape and environment (e.g., agriculture and climate change) impact bumble bee behavior, colony growth and reproduction, and populations and communities. My PhD research sought to develop an understanding of how common species such as the common eastern bumble bee (Bombus impatiens) cope with variable floral abundance brought about by agroecosystem management (e.g., mass-flowering crops), while also exploring the diverging population patterns of Midwestern bumble bee species in response to agricultural intensification using historical databases of agricultural statistics and bumble bee records. Overall, the goal of my work is to improve our understanding of the factors that allow some bumble bee species to succeed while others struggle in hopes to develop more robust conservation strategies for bumble bees.
Bee diversity and declines, conservation, pollinator health, plant-pollinator interactions
I am interested in wild bee conservation in the light of impacts of multiple stressors pollinators encounter in their environment. My current research addresses the scarcity of foraging resources. I am involved in testing different plant species mixes for pollinator habitat restoration in an agriculturally dominated landscape of the Californian Central valley. In my PhD at the Free University of Berlin I worked on threats of wild bee health by pathogen exposure from infected honey bees and studied Osmia bicornis and Nosema ceranae as a model system. Furthermore I contributed to recommendations for practical pollinator management in urban environments.
Developing best management practices for cover crop systems in Almond
I am broadly interested in agroecosystem diversification and how research can work in tandem with other forms of knowledge and expertise to build capacity for enhanced multifunctionality in agricultural systems. Prior research has focused on the intersection of cover crops and soil health. Currently, I am working with growers, researchers, advisers and non-profits to develop a set of best management practices for integrating cover crops into almond orchards.
Conservation, biodiversity, functional traits, interaction turnover
My interests range from basic bee and plant biology to community ecology and ecosystem function. I am particularly fascinated by how species interact as members of complex networks, how individuals accumulate into populations and communities, and how species play different roles within ecological communities. My previous work has focused on the co-flowering phenology of montane wildflower communities, phenology and diversity of Rocky Mountain bee species, and characterizing a bipartite plant-pollinator interaction network across time. I hope to explore the spatiotemporal dynamics and ecosystem functional roles of various plants and pollinators within natural plant-pollinator networks. Megachile relativa is one of my favorite native bee species.
Agriculture, conservation, pollination, networks
I am broadly interested in pollination ecology and pollinator conservation in applied agricultural settings. My previous research has included developing a solitary bee monitoring program for the Bernard Field Station (Claremont, CA) and investigating whether some insects are more effective at pollinating Echinacea angustifolia
than others. My dissertation research focuses on using plant-pollinator interaction networks to (i) assess the impact of honey bee introductions on native plant pollination and (ii) optimize wildflower plantings to simultaneously support managed and native bees.
Bee ecology, agroecology, environmental stressors, pesticides, nutrition
I am interested in the direct and interactive effects of environmental stressors on native bees. Specifically, I focus on nutrition and pesticide exposure and their comparative effects on Osmia lignaria and Bombus vosnesenskii fitness, health, and behavior. Previously, I studied native bee communities in blueberry fields and the response of bumblebee colonies to insecticide drift. I also studied the risks bumblebees face by both floral resource scarcity and an endoparasitoid conopid fly using an RFID system.
Landscape ecology, pollinator conservation, sustainable agriculture
I am interested in integrating tools and perspectives of landscape ecology to promote pollinator diversity in the context of agricultural sustainability. This will involve a more holistic multifunctional understanding of pest and pollinator populations, communities and management in working landscapes.
Pollination biology, global change, community ecology, plant mating systems
I am interested in plant-pollinator interactions in the context of floral reproduction. Primarily, I am interested in how drivers of global change (e.g. climate change and species invasion) alter phenological timing of plant-pollinator interactions and whether this matters in the context of plant mating system/life history strategies. For my MSc work I studied how the introduced bumble bee Bombus terrestris displaces the native Patagonian bumble bee Bombus dahlbomii’s interaction with Fuchsia magellanica through nectar robbing, and how such nectar robbing alters plant female reproductive success throughout the entire reproduction process.
(The National Institute of Horticultural Research & Institute of Nature Conservation, Polish Academy of Sciences)
Behavioral ecology, urbanization, solitary bees, mason bees,
I am conducting research at UC Davis, courtesy of the Polish-American Fulbright Commission and the Kościuszko Foundation. I am a biologist interested in how anthropogenic changes, particularly landscape changes caused by urbanization, influence Osmia spp. foraging, parasite presence, reproductive success, development and sex ratio. I would like to verify if the city is fit for bees and what we can do to create favorable conditions for them to live in a highly anthropogenic environment. I enjoy discussing research methodology and am keen to introduce new elements into my already existing experimental set-ups where I can extend their meanings into new research fields as well as start new experiments on mason bees in order to broaden the knowledge of their biology and use it as a model for the study on solitary bees.
(Environmental Science, UC Berkeley 2023)
Kimiora Ward, Plant Ecology Program Manager, NPS Yosemite
Claire Brittain, http://clairebrittain.wordpress.com/
Jessica Forrest, Associate Professor, University of Ottawa
Jochen Frund, Researcher/Lecturer, University of Freiburg
Sandra Gillespie, Assistant Professor, University of the Fraser Valley
Tina Harrison, Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Louisiana
Ola Lundin, Researcher, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala
Rosemary Malfi, Pollinator Network Coordinator, Northeast Organic Farming Association of Massachusetts
Maj Rundlof, Researcher, Lund University
Charlie Nicholson, Postdoctoral Scholar, Lund University
John Mola, (PhD) 2019, Mendenhall Postdoctoral Fellow, US Geological Survey. John’s website
Jennifer VanWyk, (PhD) 2018, Visiting Lecturer, Mount Holyoke College
Leslie Saul-Gershenz, (PhD) 2017, Postdoctoral Scholar, UC Davis
Rei Scampavia, (PhD) 2017, Consulting in the San Francisco Bay Area. Rei’s website
Katharina Ullmann, (PhD) 2014, Director of UC Davis Student Farm
Ryder Diaz, (MS) 2012
Felix Klaus, (Fulbright Scholar) 2014, Current PhD student in Teja Tschartnke’s group at Georg-August-University Göttingen
Arvid Lindh, (MS supervised through Lund University) 2017, Current PhD student at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Junior Specialists and Lab Assistants
Grace Milburn, Lab Technician, Danforth Plant Science Center
Kitty Bolte, Xerces Society Pollinator Habitat Specialist
Kate Borchardt, pursuing PhD at Iowa State University
Anna Britzman, US Forest Service Botany Technician
Andrew Buderi, pursuing PhD at University of Louisiana Lafayette
Staci Cibotti, pursuing PhD at Penn State University
Mike Epperly, US Forest Service Consulting Utility Forester
Colin Fagan, Sacramento Tree Foundation
Nate Pope, Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of Entomology at Penn State University
Logan Rowe, Conservation Associate, Michigan Natural Features Inventory
Heather Spaulding, Field Safety Professional, UC Davis Environmental Health & Safety
Serra Perry (2021)
Li Wang (2021) Imperial College, UK
Gigi Melone (2020) University of Wisconsin
Anna Britzmann (2019) USFS Oregon
Kate Borchardt (2018) Iowa State University
Beth Beyer (2017) CDFW
Jessica Drost (2017)
Sonja Glasser (2015) UMass Amherst
Mira Parekh (2013)
Alexi Haack (2013)
Sarah Bolm (2012)
Emily McGlynn (Bryn Mawr College 2009) – Native bee benefits for agriculture in the Mid-Atlantic
Kristen Jenkins (Bryn Mawr College 2009) – Functional Compensation and biodiversity loss
Sarah Allard (Haverford College 2009) – Functional Compensation and biodiversity loss
Cecily Moyer (Haverford College 2009) – The role of floral morphology and reward in structuring pollinator plant networks
Rosemary Malfi (Bryn Mawr College 2007) – The effect of urban development on Bombus communities in the Delaware Valley, PA
Daniela Miteva (Bryn Mawr College 2007) – Pollinator communities and pollination in eastern old fields, Pollinator and pollen deposition webs in restored meadows
Amanda Rahi (Bryn Mawr College 2007) – The contributions of specialist and generalist bees to reproductive success of desert mallow