Who We Are
I am affiliated with graduate programs in both Ecology Evolution and Conservation Biology as well as Integrative Neuroscience. Before joining UNR in 2012, I was previously a Darwin Fellow at UMass Amherst, a PERT Fellow at the University of Arizona, and a PhD student in the UC Davis Animal Behavior Graduate Group. I am currently an Associate Editor at Evolutionary Ecology and Journal of Pollination Ecology. Beyond trying to teach bees, I also teach a class on scientific thinking for non-majors (spring: Bio 125), as well as a course on sensory ecology and evolution (fall: Bio 418).
I update sections of this website regularly, but for live play-by-play, follow us on Twitter:
Dr. Felicity Muth, Postdoctoral Researcher
Felicity has explored the cognitive basis of foraging for multiple resources. She's discovered that bees not only learn and remember visual associations based on pollen (protein) rewards, but they also can learn that one color of flower offers only nectar and the other only pollen. While she continues to push this NSF-funded study in a few new directions, Felicity is beginning research into circadian learning (AAUW fellowship) and the sublethal effects of pesticides on cognition (L'Oreal/AAAS Fellowship and USDA-NIFA Postdoctoral Fellowship).
Jacob Francis, PhD Candidate, EECB program
Jake is interested in understanding what factors drive foragers' collection of multiple nutrients, and how those decisions translate into reproductive success for plants. Supported by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, Jake explores these questions through a combination of lab-based behavioral experiments, modeling approaches, and fieldwork at local Sierra Nevada field sites. Jake has also led our lab's affiliation with the Daugherty Scholars, a group of STEM education majors who spend time shadowing researchers.
Devon Picklum, eecb phD student
Devon is developing her dissertation proposal, but is broadly interested in how pollinator behavior can mediate interactions between co-flowering plant species on ecological and evolutionary timescales. She has begun a lab-based project on visual signals involved in heteranthery, and a field-based project exploring patterns of putative convergence and facilitation in two Sierra Nevada wildflower species.
Recently eclosed Undergraduates
- Cheyenne Acevedo (pollen foraging behavior)
- Emily Breslow (neuroethology)
- Rene Bonilla (pollen preferences)
- Jonathan Vivet (floral color change)
- Simon White (comparative venom project)
- Brandy Reynolds (nectar chemistry and bee foraging preferences)
- Amanda Scampini (stress, learning and memory)
- Harvi Singh (pollen and memory)
- Jacob Brannam (pollen foraging and plant vs. pollinator performance)
- Phillip Breslow (lipid perception and learning)
- Hector Arciniega (pollen + nectar foraging)