Scott McArt, assistant professor of pollinator health. My main research interests are chemical and disease ecology, specifically in relation to pesticide and pathogen stress experienced by honey bees, bumble bees and other wild bees. I have a keen interest in working with stakeholders (e.g. beekeepers and growers) and regulatory agencies to improve pollinator health. This works well with my 60/40 research/extension appointment. Some more information on my background and interests is located here.
Nicolas Baert, research associate. Nico comes to us from Juha-Pekka Salminen’s lab at the University of Turku, Finland, where his PhD research focused on ellagitannin chemistry. At Cornell, Nico manages our Chemical Ecology Core Facility (CECF), which is housed in our shared lab space and features a Thermo TSQ Quantis HPLC-MS-MS, allowing us to investigate pesticide exposure and risk to bees.
Christine Urbanowicz, postdoctoral associate. Christine researches plants and pollinators from the lenses of community ecology, landscape ecology, and management. She is currently assessing the importance of invasive spotted knapweed as a forage item for honey bees and wild bees. Christine completed her PhD with Becky Irwin at Dartmouth College.
Aaron Iverson, postdoctoral associate. Aaron brings an impressive knowledge of botany to the field of pollinator health. He completed his PhD at the University of Michigan with John Vandermeer and Robyn Burnham. As a NatureNet fellow in Sunny Power’s lab, he worked to produce a floral resource map for New York. Now, Aaron is working to find effective fungicides/insecticides that pose minimal risk to bees.
Paige Muñiz, lab manager. Paige is a bee systematics ninja. Her Masters research at St. Louis University with Gerardo Camilo and Mike Arduser focused on how urbanization and socioeconomic status impacts bee diversity in the midwest. She’s currently leading bee identification on our EEID disease in bees project, helping with identification on numerous other projects, and making sure our lab runs smoothly with her unrelenting positive attitude in her spare time!
Phoebe Koenig, honey bee technician. Phoebe is helping run our queen genetics project, where we’re working to improve honey bee genetics in NYS. Phoebe has an impressive bee CV, having previously worked in Tom Seeley’s and Marla Spivak’s labs, then for a year and a half with the Bee Informed Partnership. When not working on bee genetics, Phoebe can be found strapping microchips to bees with Kristin Petersen to find out where they fly!
Laura Figueroa, PhD student. Laura grew up in Colombia and Oklahoma, completing a BS at the University of Oklahoma in 2015. Laura’s dissertation is investigating how pathogens are transmitted in complex plant-pollinator networks. Check out her dance your PhD video, which combines her impressive science and salsa skills.
Kass Urban-Mead, PhD student. Kass is co-advised by myself and Bryan Danforth. She completed a Masters in Os Schmitz’s lab at Yale, where she investigated how plant-pollinator networks are impacted by human land use gradients. For her PhD, Kass is using her network expertise to help apple growers improve management decisions related to pollination.
Kaitlin Deutsch, PhD student. Kaitlin completed a Masters of Conservation at Oxford, where her thesis with Mark Brown investigated the potential for flies to be non-host vectors of bee pathogens. For her PhD, she is interested in understanding factors driving declines of native pollinator species, especially hoverflies.
Timothy Salazar, PhD student. Timothy is co-advised by myself and Steve Ellner in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Timothy is interested in theory and modeling of disease transmission among bees. Before coming to Cornell, he worked with Corrie Moreau at U Chicago and Dan Doak at CU Boulder.
Casey Hale, undergraduate researcher. Casey is currently working with Aaron to assess how fungicide-insecticide interactions impact bees. Her long-term goal is to become an insect vector epidemiologist and study Aedes mosquito control. Her favorite Hymenoptera family is Stephanidae, the crown wasps!
Abby Davis, undergraduate researcher. Abby is working with Kaitlin to investigate the vector potential of multiple bee pathogens in flies. She is interested in hoverflies and their impact on plant-pollinator networks. She plans to one day work for an agricultural company and specialize in biological control.
Emma Williams, undergraduate researcher. Emma recently joined the lab and began working with Aaron to test potential synergisms between fungicides and insecticides and the impact of those interactions on bees. Pursuing a microbiology concentration, Emma is a newcomer to the world of bees. But she’s learned a lot during her time in Comstock and hasn’t been stung (yet)!
Dr. Peter Graystock, NIH postdoctoral associate (2017-2018)
Nelson Milano, M.S., Masters student (2016-2018): “Comparative survival and fitness of bumble bee colonies in natural, suburban, and agricultural landscapes”
Ashley Fersch, lab manager (2016-2018)
Sarah Bluher, technician (2015-2016)
Sally Compton, undergraduate researcher, senior Honors thesis (2017): “Functional traits of wild bees predict pathogen prevalence”
Lauren Truitt, undergraduate researcher, senior Honors thesis (2017): “A trait-based model of disease transmission in plant-pollinator networks”
David Lewis, undergraduate researcher
Julie Kapuvari, undergraduate researcher
Annika Salzberg, undergraduate researcher
Mahilet Kebede, undergraduate researcher
Marcel Ramos, undergraduate researcher
Josh Roberts, undergraduate researcher
Trebor Hall, undergraduate researcher
Rosie Nagele, undergraduate researcher
Emily Wafler, undergraduate researcher
Carlee Roberts, undergraduate researcher