POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCHER: CLAUDINÉIA COSTA
Dr. Costa received her PhD from the University of São Paulo in Brazil studying the population dynamics of orchid bees in different areas in the Atlantic Forest. She is an expert in molecular biology and has worked with bees for over 10 years, with additional experience in developmental biology and the mechanisms that regulate metamorphosis. In the Woodard lab, she is currently studying the mechanisms controlling larval development and ultimate body size, which are crucial for two of the organization principles of bumblebee societies: worker division of labor and caste determination. Claudinéia's work in the lab is supported by NIFA, US-Israel BARD, and the US-Israel Binational Science Foundation, with training support from the NSF-funded Insect Genetic Technologies Research Coordination Network.
phd candidate: kaleigh Fisher
Kaleigh is a 5th-year PhD candidate studying gustation in bumble bees. She is broadly interested in plant-pollinator interactions across natural and managed systems, including how varying levels of agricultural intensification influence pollinator foraging behavior and population and community dynamics. In her PhD research, Kaleigh is exploring several aspects of taste in bumble bees, including the tissue-specific expression of genes involved in taste perception, how taste helps bumble bees make foraging decisions, and how task partitioning in the nest is mediated in part by mechanisms related to taste and nutrient sensing. Kaleigh's work is supported by NIFA.
phd Student: natalie Fischer
Natalie is a 4th-year PhD student using metabolomic approaches to study how nutrition, stressors, and early developmental processes impacts bumble bee physiology and behavior. Natalie has broad interests in physiology, behavior, and ecology, and is particularly interested in applying computational approaches to the study of bee behavior. Natalie is an NSF Graduate Research Fellow and NSF NRT Computational Entomology Fellow.
PHD candidate: ERICA SARRO
Erica is a 4th year PhD candidate who is broadly interested in social evolution, plant-pollinator interactions, and insect behavior. Her PhD research is focused on the behavioral plasticity of early nesting queen bumble bees, with an emphasis on understanding how foraging mechanics, environmental sensitivity, and selective pressures vary among the solitary and social phases of the bumble bee life cycle. Erica is an NSF NRT Computational Entomology Fellow.
Laboratory assistant: Blanca Ortega
Blanca is a recent UCR graduate with a dual Bachelor of Science in Biology and Bachelor of Arts in Spanish who is helping to manage the new US National Native Bee Monitoring Research Coordination Network. She is broadly interested in social behavior, reproduction, and community dynamics. As an undergrad, she worked in the tissue-specific expression of taste perception genes in bumble bees. She is currently considering her interests and options for graduate school.
Undergraduate Researcher: ALEX BRINKLEY
Alex is a Biology major and Chancellor's Research Fellow who is passionate about research and pursuing a career in both medicine and biomedical research. His research in the Woodard lab primarily focuses on bee energetics. Alex is interested in studying and developing new methods that ultimately help us to better preserve bees and understand social dynamics within colonies. He is mentored by PhD student Natalie Fischer.
Damaris is an undergraduate Honors student majoring in Biology. She wants to pursue a career in the medical field but is still very interested in research and wants to make significant contributions to the scientific community. She is extremely passionate about the environment, and acknowledges that bees are an essential part of global sustainability. She intends to use this passion to understand the role that bees play on earth, their anatomy, and what we can do to protect these little critters. She is mentored by PhD candidate Erica Sarro.
- Kristal Watrous (Assistant Specialist 2015-2020)
- Yadira Diaz (undergraduate researcher 2018-2020)
- Blanca Ortega (undergraduate researcher 2018-2020)
- Christie Miranda (undergraduate researcher 2018-2020)
- Alexandra Vanacek (undergraduate researcher and Junior Specialist 2016-2019)
- Gina Zhuo (undergraduate researcher 2018)
- Stephanie Reimer (undergraduate researcher 2017-2018)
- Fernanda Ambrosio (undergraduate researcher 2018)
- Vanessa Uribe (visiting undergraduate researcher from Brown University, summer 2018)
- Phong Hong (undergraduate researcher 2017-2018) is now a Fulbright Scholar in Germany
- Michelle Duennes (USDA NIFA Postdoctoral Fellow 2016-2018) is now an Assistant Professor at Saint Vincent College
- Mauricio Flores (undergraduate researcher 2017-2018)
- Brian Dinh (undergraduate researcher 2017)
- Rebecca Moon (undergraduate researcher 2017)
- Ariel Bohr (volunteer 2016)
- Sunakshi Garg (undergraduate researcher 2015-2016) has graduated with a BS from UCR and will be attending medical school
- Parry Kietzman (lab technician 2015) is now a postdoc in Dave Tarpy's lab at NCSU