From 2018 - 2020, my M.S. research broadly focused on how prairie restoration affects bumble bee abundance and species richness (# of species). We found huge increases the number of bees and the number of species of bees when sites were planted with native prairie vegetation.
Since 2021, my research has been expanding off of the results from my M.S. work. Do large increases in the number of bumble bees and number of species mean that prairie restorations are helping populations to recover and persist over time?
I am answering this question using a diverse set of methods across scientific fields. Population genetics are being used to estimate the true population size (# of colonies), genetic diversity, and intergenerational survival. Natural history observational methods are being used to understand nesting preferences and important information about
Bumble Bee Nesting Content
Brown-Belted Bumble Bee Nest
One of the first nests we found during my PhD research, in May 2021 in Madison, WI.
Inside a Bumble Bee Nest
Take a peak at a Brown-Belted Bumble Bee worker inside its nest.
Tissue Sample Collection
I walk through how I collect tissue samples from bumble bees for genetic-based analyses such as nest density, genetic diversity, and foraging distance.