Postdoctoral researcher, UNC Greensboro (Olav Rueppell's lab)
Esmaeil's research is centered around a collaborative effort to measure the various stresses within colonies, centering on measuring colonies for their virus profiles and seeing how they interact with other environmental stressors. This is a logical and productive continuation of his past research, where he forged an interest in evolutionary biology and research by developing his area of expertise in viruses and bee health. For example, part of his work provide the first and only empirical evidence of a sexually transmitted viral disease in honey bees, heretofore unbeknownst to science. As such he has been able to quickly incorporate the qPCR techniques involved in the project and has made great headway in the complicated multifactorial analyses.
Postdoctoral researcher, University of Pennsylvania (Tim Linksvayer's lab)
Dan got his PhD at the University of Arizona working on lazy ants and their behavioral ecology. He is now applying his expertise to the honey bee system, conducting experiments on the division of labor among nurse bees on how they raise queens.
Undergraduate media intern
Claire is the media intern for the NC State Apiculture program. She is an undergraduate film major that began learning more in depth about bees after taking Dr. Tarpy’s Bees and Beekeeping course. She makes videos that display the lab members’ projects and the NC state hives and our bees. She also keeps up with the social media accounts for the program and takes photos and videos of the events that we hold and projects that the lab gets involved with. Claire plans to work in the lab for her entire undergraduate career, and has plans to collaborate as a videographer for a virtual reality beekeeping project.
Alex started working with Starling Krentz (ECU) this summer on in vitro rearing of larvae in an effort to determine if queens might be "vaccinated" so that their offspring are less susceptible to different pathogens. Alex hopes to continue working in the lab next year as a senior.
Undergraduate research assistant
I am an undergraduate student majoring in French and Horticultural Science and minoring in Entomology. I joined the Tarpy Lab this semester (Spring 2017) and will be assisting Joe Milone, a PhD student researching the exposome of pesticides on honey bee queens and studying how that may affect queen reproduction and the livelihood of the colony down the line.
Ms. Keller is responsible for all beekeeping maintenance and implementation of any field research and data collection. She is an integral part of all empirical studies involving live honey bees at our Lake Wheeler Honey Bee Research Facility. Her MS research was on the biology of the small hive beetle, but she has since become an expert in queen rearing, insemination, in vitro rearing, and many other empirical techniques.
Hannah is spearheading a new study measuring the effects of planted pollinator habitats on native bee populations. This past year Hannah has coordinated the sampling of the native bee populations at wildflower plots planted at each of the NCDA Experimental Research Stations. [VIDEO]
Genetics research assistant
Erin works primarily on the Bee Informed Partnership project investigating the association between honey bee health and virus prevalence and incidence. She conducts RNA/DNA extractions and qRT-PCR, as well as assists with queen dissections for the Queen & Disease Clinic and field sampling for our projects in pollination ecology. Erin is an NC State graduate and has plans to go onto grad school.
Brad got his PhD from Texas A&M University studying the chemical and pheromone ecology of honey bees, particularly the primer and releaser effects of brood pheromone. He has extensive background in honey bee biology, teaching apiculture particularly in the online environment, and outreach. He joined our lab to spearhead the Queen & Disease Clinic and to conduct research on the reproductive quality of queens.
My current research focuses on how realistic exposure environments and genetic susceptibility influence queen reproductive fitness and downstream colony phenotype. I am also interested in the development of accessible biomarkers for improving exposure assessment in honey bees. [VIDEO]
Professor and Extension Apiculturist
David Tarpy is a Professor of Entomology and the Extension Apiculturist at North Carolina State University since 2003. His research interests focus on the biology and behavior of honey bee queens—using techniques including field manipulations, behavioral observation, instrumental insemination, and molecular genetics—in order to better improve the overall health of queens and their colonies. Specific research projects include understanding the effect of the polyandrous mating strategy of queen bees on colony disease resistance, using molecular methods to determine the genetic structure within honey bee colonies, and the determining the regulation of reproduction at the individual and colony levels. His work has provided some of the best empirical evidence that multiple mating by queens confers multiple and significant benefits to colonies through increased genetic diversity of their nestmates. More recently, his lab group has focused on the reproductive potential of commercially produced queens, testing their genetic diversity and mating success in an effort to improve queen quality.
James is interested in the evolutionary and behavioral ecology of social insects, focusing on honey bee queen biology. For his MS thesis, he explored how emergency-reared queens often derive from unusual rare genotypes ("royal patrilines") and to what extent they are seen in colonies. He is also studying the pragmatic effects of shipping conditions on queen quality, specifically how temperature profiles during package transport may influence sperm viability and queen longevity. He has continued on for a PhD in our program.