The Northeastern US is a heterogeneous landscape where agricultural, natural, and developed areas are nestled closely together. This creates a complex habitat matrix for small insects—including New York’s 417 species of wild bees.
Where are wild bees found, and how are their movements between habitat patches governed by resources that vary across space and time? I employ the tools of landscape, network, community, and nutritional ecology to understand habitat use and diet choice.
I am particularly interested in forest habitats, not just for bee nesting but for the vast amounts of pollen produced by their flowering canopies. This oft-overlooked resource may be crucial to the wild, unmanaged bees that also pollinate NY’s beloved and economically important apple orchards.
In the long term, I hope to be able to generate forest management recommendations to support important agricultural pollinators.
My research requires a lot of gear! I climb to the canopies for direct netting. I also rig up bee bowl traps that I access via a pulley system for regular canopy collections. Check out some of my gear below.