Neal Williams – PI
Pollination biology, bee ecology evolution and behavior, agroecology
Biodiversity, community ecology, landscape ecology, conservation science, global change
I conduct research at the intersection of applied entomology, community ecology, and agricultural sustainability, focusing on pollinators because of their central role in both natural and managed landscapes. I recently finished my PhD at the University of Vermont where I was a Gund Institute for Environment graduate fellow. My current research generates maps of pesticide application to better understand when and where bees are at risk. Other interests include multiple dimensions of biodiversity, conservation planning, agricultural management, ecosystem services, and community and landscape ecology.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Gigi Melone (University of California, Davis)
Li Wang (University of California, Davis)
Kimiora Ward, Restoration Program Coordinator, Institute for Applied Ecology; https://appliedeco.org/kimiora-ward/
Claire Brittain, http://clairebrittain.wordpress.com/
Jessica Forrest, Assistant Professor, University of Ottawa
Jochen Fruend, Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Guelph, Currently at University of Freiburg
Sandra Gillespie, Postdoctoral Scholar, Simon Fraser University
Tina Harrison, Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Louisiana
Ola Lundin, Postdoctoral Scholar, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala
Rosemary Malfi, Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Massachusetts Amherst Rosemary's website
John Mola, (PhD) 2019, Mendenhall Postdoctoral Fellow, US Geological Survey. John's website
Jennifer VanWyk, (PhD) 2018, Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Massachusetts Amherst
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, http://www.ryderdiaz.com/
Felix Klaus, (Fulbright Scholar) 2014, Current PhD student in Teja Tschartnke’s group at Georg-August-University Göttingen
Junior Specialists and Lab Assistants
Kitty Bolte, Xerces Society Pollinator Habitat Specialist
Kate Borchardt, pursuing PhD at Iowa State University
Andrew Buderi, pursuing PhD at University of Louisiana Lafayette
Staci Cibotti, pursuing PhD at Penn State University
Mike Epperly, traveling the country and making beautiful art!
Logan Rowe, Conservation Associate, Michigan Natural Features Inventory
Heather Spaulding, Field Safety Professional, UC Davis Environmental Health & Safety
Kate Borchardt (University of California, Davis 2018)
Beth Beyer (University of California, Davis 2017)
Jessica Drost (University of California, Davis 2017)
Sonja Glasser (University of California, Davis 2015)
Mira Parekh (University of California, Davis 2013)
Alexi Haack (University of California, Davis 2013)
Sarah Bolm (University of California, Davis 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