I have two primary research interests: 1.) the evolution of sociality, or how and why animals get together and help each other, and 2.) how physiology interacts with ecology, or how animal structures and movements relate to their environment. Animal social interactions can describe everything from parental care and nest guarding to cooperative acquisition of resources and group rearing of young. My interest in this concept spans species, from insects to mammals. For three winters I studied grey wolf social behavior in Yellowstone. Later, as a graduate student at the University of Colorado, I studied social behavior and evolution in honeybees. While at UC Boulder, I focused on how wax that is secreted by different bee species ultimately function as nest structures with remarkable mechanical and thermal properties. At the University of California in Berkeley, I worked on a postdoctoral fellowship studying the biomechanics and evolution of bumblebee flight.
Evolution of social behavior, Honeybees, Bumblebees, Bee behavior, Materials Properties of Biological Structures, evolution of insect flight