It’s exciting to communicate with people of all ages about science and specifically, pollinators; aiming to educate individuals about their biology and importance to society. My passion for outreach has grown into my identity as a scientist and educator. One of the best tools I use is creativity, whether it’s designing experiments or class activities, creative confidence is a character trait I embody.
I began pollinator research as an undergrad, and I was so passionate, that I devoted my PhD dissertation to exploring pollinator development, health, behavior, and physiology in a changing climate. I plan to pursue a career in research on pollinators, because they are critical to society and a passion that’s close to my heart.
Understanding how pollinators will respond to changing climate and what aspects of their surroundings aid or hinder their success is a comprehensive angle for approaching the issue of pollinator decline. How juvenile pollinators develop, and what factors affect adult bee emergence are two perspectives that I find important to consider in the context of a changing climate. Environment greatly affects pollinator development, health, and fitness. Thus, examining effects of temperature fluctuations is a broad approach to solving the issue of pollinator decline. Temperature can affect many aspects of life, such as habitat quality, pollinator health, and plant-pollinator interactions; all hypothesized to be causes of bee population decline. Additionally, my study organism, the alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata is a important pollinator used in commercial farming and gardening.