Read on for the latest updates from the Bronstein Lab…

Fall 2019:

We are excited about several updates to our lab, starting this Fall 2019!

  • Welcome to our new PhD student, Beth Ann Hansen!
  • Welcome to Alice Boyle, a Bronstein Lab alumna who will be joining our lab during her sabbatical this fall. She is now a tenured professor at Kansas State University.
  • Gordon Smith (Bronstein Lab recent alumnus) has started a postdoc at UC Riverside. We look forward to reading more!
  • Kelsey Yule (Bronstein Lab alumna) has started a position at Arizona State University as NEON Biorepository Project Manager. Congratulations Kelsey!

August 2019:

Victoria Luizzi won the 2019 award for Ecological Section Best Student Poster at this year’s Botany Society of America meeting! Congratulations Victoria!

Flowing Wells High School students Charlotte Snyder, Juan Ruiz, and Laila Anderson have completed their Ecology Technology internships with the Bronstein Lab. Congratulations all! We hope to work with you again soon.

July 2019:

Congratulations to Olivia Valenzuela and Stephen Pryor, who successfully completed their KEYS research internships and did some amazing projects. Stephen (who collaborated with Victoria Luizzi and the Betsy Arnold Lab) found connections between leafcutter bee plant choices and their microbial communities. Olivia (who collaborated with Kathryn Busby) researched the effects of temperature and long-term climate on the size of adult carpenter bees. We hope they will both seek us out for future collaborations!

May 2019:

We are proud of Gordon Smith and Hannah Dinell, our newly graduated Bronstein Lab alumni! Congratulations, and we will miss you both.

  • Gordon Smith just successfully defended his PhD dissertation on sex-based foraging differences in hawk moths, and is headed to a postdoc at UC Riverside.
  • Hannah Dinell successfully defended her Master’s thesis on arthropod communities and a potential mutualism occurring within UA’s Biosphere 2 biomes.

Bronstein Lab high school associate Ana Hosmer completed her Girl Scout Gold Award this month. Ana’s project involved educating the public about the importance of native bees through outreach events that Ana organized. She also had native bee hotels built and distributed at her events. Great job, Ana!

March 2019:

Congratulations to our high school researcher Chloe Burkholder, who just won 1st Place in Animal Sciences at Southern Arizona Research, Science, and Engineering Foundation (SARSEF) for her project entitled The Birds and the Bees: an Analysis of Nesting and Predation. Chloe also won the Wildlife Society Conservation Award, the Tucson Wildlife Center Wildlife Award, and the SARSEF Foundation Scholarship with this project. WOW! Great job, Chloe!!

Judie participated in a small symposium in Berlin this month, entitled “Community Ecology in the Twenty-First Century.” Here’s the group on the beautiful grounds of the Wissenschaftscolleg zu Berlin, where she is spending three months. (L-R: Kurt Jax, Michael Wade, Tina Hager, Will Baumann, Kelly Ramirez, Pedro Jordano, Thomas Lewinsohn [organizer], Judie, Owen Petchey, Anne Magurran, and Jon Chase).

February 2019:

Check out our new lab meme, created by PhD student Alex Karnish! ūüėÄ

January 2019:

Judie will be spending January-March 2019 as a Fellow of the Wissenschaftscolleg (WIKO) in Berlin. Here’s what she will be doing there:

The WIKO working group, left to right: Tim Linksvayer, Michael Wade, and Jason Wolf. Front: Judie Bronstein
Does Crime Pay? The Benefits of Cheating, the Costs of Being Cheated, and the Persistence of Interspecific Cooperation

How can cooperation persist in the face of a persistent, ubiquitous temptation to cheat? I will critically examine evidence for our current interpretation of the conflicts that underlie mutualism. Taking a broad conceptual perspective, I will synthesize, for the first time, widely dispersed empirical evidence surrounding three critical issues. (1) Do individuals with options to either cheat or cooperate choose to cheat when they can? (2) Does “crime pay” – that is, does cheating confer fitness benefits to individuals that could alternatively cooperate? (3) Is it indeed costly to be cheated by one’s partner? Current cooperation theory is built on the belief that the answer to all three questions is yes. However, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that this assumption is fundamentally flawed. My research program intersects with the broader goals of Michael Wade’s Focus Group about Syngenomics: to create new evolutionary theory designed to advance our understanding of how cooperation can persist in the face of conflict. This is one of the central mysteries in biology today. It is one whose solution holds the promise of helping us to envision and perhaps even design more smoothly functioning human societies.

December 2018:

Happy holidays from the Bronstein Lab! See you in the new year!

Kathryn Busby just successfully completed her comprehensive exams! Hooray! Now on to the next stage…

November 2018:

Welcome to our new Master’s student, Austin Cruz! We are excited to you have you as a part of the lab!

September 2018:

Congratulations to Kathryn Busby, who received the Education Award for teaching in the Entomology and Insect Science program!

August 2018:

Welcome to two new Bronstein Lab graduate students, Victoria Luizzi and Alex Karnish! We are excited to have them join us!

Farewell and congratulations to Sarah Richman, Kelsey Yule, and Kate Mathis, who have moved on to fantastic post-docs and jobs! We miss you already.

April 2018:

Gordon Smith has been awarded the University of Arizona’s College of Science Award for Excellence in Teaching! Congratulations, Gordon!

Kate Mathis has been hired as an Assistant Professor of Ecology at Clark University, starting in Fall 2018! Congratulations, Kate! We will miss you!!

March 2018:

We are delighted to announce that Sarah Richman and Kelsey Yule successfully defended their PhD dissertations this month!

Congratulations, Dr. Sarah Richman!!!

Congratulations, Dr. Kelsey Yule!!!

January 2018:

The University of Arizona’s EEB Department and Judie Bronstein were featured in a recent issue of The Arizona Daily Star. You can read the article here!

Happy new year! This semester, the Bronstein Lab group will be meeting on Mondays from 1-2:30. All are welcome!

December 2017:

At the end of December Judie finished off five years as Editor-in-Chief of The American Naturalist (following on three years as a lead editor, and eight years as an associate editor). Here’s the nice award she received at the American Society of Naturalists meeting in January.

Kelsey Yule published a paper on the reproductive ecology of desert mistletoe in Oecologia. Click here to see more!

September 2017:

Kelsey Yule has been investing time lately in acting as a fierce and powerful public advocate for Ironwood National Monument, which is under threat by the Department of the Interior. You will find her quoted here:

and also here:
Thanks, Kelsey, for all you do!

Kathryn Busby just returned from The Bee Course in Portal, AZ, where she spent time learning from and collecting with some of the world’s leading bee taxonomists!

August 2017:

Welcome back for the new school year!

Sarah Richman is about half way through her NSF-supported 6-month visit to Jonathan Levine’s lab at ETH-Zurich in Switzerland. Her fieldwork, looking at the effects of climate warming on pollinator visitation to Swiss alpine plant communities, is winding down. She’s currently analyzing data and getting very interesting preliminary results. She says she’s anxious to get the full analyses done! (and, hopefully, to come back and wow us with them)

The Bronstein lab was sad to see Sinu return to India this month. We marvel that he published at least eight papers during his year in the lab, including starting up a new line of research on leafcutter bees on which we’ll continue to collaborate. Thanks for spending the year with us, Sinu, and come back soon!

Bronsteinees were active at meetings this summer. Sinu talked about his leafcutter bee research at the ATBC meetings in Merida, Mexico, and Kelsey talked about her mistletoe work at SSE in Portland. Gordon talked on intraspecific variation in pollen loads in hawkmoths at ESA; Judie was there and talked about weird nectar-robbing behavior and leafcutter bees (for Sinu). Past grad students, postdocs, and adoptees who gave great talks at SSE and ESA included Sevan Suni, Heather Briggs, Alice Boyle, Leif Richardson, Paul CaraDonna, and Amy Iler. Past sabbatarian Anurag Agrawal was honored by the Robert MacArthur Award, ESA’s highest research recognition.

Gordon mentored a fine high school student, Shalyn Nokideneh, this summer through the KEYS program. Shalyn and Gordon worked on resource allocation in male vs. female Hyles moths. It produced great data and was a fun and easy learning experience for everyone involved.

Masters in Biology Teaching student Michelle Tozer had a great summer studying traits of leaves that leafcutter bees do and don’t cut on the same plant. In particular, with the help of Betsy Arnold, she learned some amazing things about fungal growth on these two classes of leaves. She’s now back at Vail High School, though she’ll be involving her students in data collection over the next school year. She’ll finish up this exciting project next summer.

We welcome a new student to the lab this fall! Hannah Dinell was admitted to the Accelerated Master’s Program; she will start her M.Sc. research while completing her B.Sc. in the department this year. Hannah will likely be working on arthopod invasions and mutualistic meltdown in Biosphere Two, a new project for the lab.

July 2017:

Kathryn Busby just embarked on Springs Stewardship Institute’s Grand Canyon Bioblitz! What a great opportunity to experience the world’s most famous canyon from an ecological and entomological perspective, and learn from some leading Grand Canyon experts!

June 2017:

Kathryn Busby is excited about starting as an Outreach Scholar for two weeks during this year’s Summer Science Academy at Biosphere 2!

We are proud of Palatty Allesh Sinu, who has published his new biological invasions paper, “Invasive ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes) disrupts pollination in pumpkin.” Wow, three papers in one month! Check it out by clicking here!

Congratulations to Sinu, who has published his new paper on the bodyguard manipulation behaviour of a parasitoid wasp in PLoS ONE! You can find out more and see a video of this behavior in action here (scroll down for video).

Palatty Allesh Sinu has published a new article in BioScience! Check it out here: “Can the spiritual values of forests inspire effective conservation?”

Judie has started a new collaboration with Manette Sandor, a grad student from U Conn (shown here), Liba Pejchar (Colorado State), and Clare Aslan (NAU), to study whether fruiting times are moving earlier in response to climate change the way flowering times are, and if so, whether or not it matters for seed dispersal mutualisms. Manette, Liba and Clare were in Tucson the first week in June to work with Judie on the first paper from this project.

May 2017:

We are excited for our Post-Doc, Palatty Allesh Sinu, who has just published his paper titled “Diversity of Platygastridae in Leaf Litter and Understory Layers of Tropical Rainforests of the Western Ghats Biodiversity Hotspot, India” in Environmental Entomology. Click here to find out more!

Congratulations to Gordon Smith, who has been named a Galileo Circle Scholar for 2017. This is the highest research recognition offered by the UA College of Science, and Gordon totally deserves it.

We’re proud of Coline Jaworski, who has been awarded the AXA Postdoctoral Fellowship! This award will allow her to spend 2 years at IMBE in Marseilles working with¬†Benoit Geslin and Catherine Fernandez, for a total of ‚ā¨130,000. The title of her project is “Pollination in a drier world: using floral scent to predict and restore pollination networks.”

Congratulations to our undergraduate superstar Trevor Ledbetter! Trevor is graduating UA, having completed his honors thesis, entitled “Anthropogenic Change, Effects on Bee Populations, and Consequences for a Subalpine Plant Community.” Trevor has been named Outstanding Senior by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and by the Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences; he has also won the EEB Excellence in Undergraduate Research Award, and was a finalist for the Dean of Students Senior Award. Wow. Sarah Richman deserves a special nod for helping direct Trevor’s immense talents over the past few years. We will miss him.

Trevor Ledbetter

Congratulations too to Seneca Blank, a Tucson High School Student working under the supervision of Kelsey Yule, who took top honors in plant biology at the SARSEF Science Fair in April. Seneca studied genetic divergence between mistletoe growing on creosote versus leguminous trees. Seneca is heading for International Science Fair, with a nice UA scholarship too. Kelsey, kudos for your great work with a talented student!

We will be welcoming a new PhD student, Victoria Luizzi, into the lab! Victoria is graduating this spring from Amherst College. We won’t see her until 2018, though, because she’s been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to conduct research in Uppsala, Sweden next year. She’ll be working on “Floral Scent: The Energetic Cost of Attracting Pollinators” with Dr. Magne Friberg.¬† Congratulations, Victoria! Be sure to write.

April 2017:

Judie walked in the March for Science in Chicago in April with lab alum Paul CaraDonna, now on the faculty of Chicago Botanic Garden, his wife Amy Iler (also a CBG professor), and their new baby Zoe, along with Goggy and the staff of the University of Chicago Press.

Paul Caradonna and Judie Bronstein at the Chicago March for Science, April 22, 2017.

Sarah Richman has received funding from NSF GROW (Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide) to visit ETH-Zurich as a visiting scholar this summer! Congratulations, Sarah!

We are proud of Sarah Richman, who has just published her paper on the foraging efficiency of secondary nectar robbing in Oikos! Find out more here. Congratulations, Sarah!

March 2017:

Congratulations to Kelsey Yule and Sarah Richman! They have both received the prestigious P.E.O. Scholar Award from P.E.O. International, which honors outstanding women in science.

Kathryn Busby is excited to have been accepted as an Outreach Scholar at Biosphere II this summer. She will spend two weeks living on site and leading students as they design and implement their own research projects.

The Bronstein Lab had a grand time at Tucson Hebrew Academy’s fantastic STEM Festival. Our Pollinator Paradise booth featured live white-lined sphinx moths, bumble bees, and native wildflowers, along with pollen slides under microscopes, and lots of fun facts!

February 2017:

Congratulations to our post-doc Sinu, who has just published his leaf cutter bee foraging paper in Apidologie! More info to be found here.

Congratulations to our lab’s close associate, UA EIS professor Goggy Davidowitz, who just published a very cool paper about hawk moth carb consumption, flight respiration, and oxidative damage in Science. More info to be found here.

December 2016:

We’re proud of Kelsey Yule, who has been honored with the following grants and awards in 2016! Congratulations, Kelsey!

National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant

Arizona Native Plants Society, Ginny Saylor Research Grant

American Society of Naturalists Student Research Award

University of Arizona College of Science Galileo Circle Scholar