Welcome to the Nieh Lab

Lab Members

pictureJames Nieh, Principal Investigator

jnieh@ucsd.edu
View CV

James Nieh is interested in the evolution of communication in social bees and factors that influence honey bee health. He focuses on the proximate mechanisms involved in foraging, food alertment, and recruitment in the social bees (Bombini, Apini, and Meliponini). His goal is develop a greater understanding how such foraging information flow works and how it has evolved. Recently, he has begun to focus on the effects of pesticides and pathogens on honey bee behavior and health.


pictureHeather C. Bell, Postdoctoral Fellow
2014 to Present

heather.bell@uleth.ca
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Heather Bell came from studying the properties of dyadic social interactions in a variety of species during her PhD in Canada, and is now very excited to be researching communication in bees, focusing on the properties of inhibitory communication in social collectives.


pictureBahram Kheradmand, PhD Candidate
2014 to Present

to be assigned

Bahram is current deciding on his research focus.





pictureChase James, BS Candidate
2011 to Present

ccjames@sdcc21.ucsd.edu

Chase is studying how honey bees can use olfaction to detect and avoid predators and plans to study honest alarm pheromone communication in the highly social bees.




pictureErica Zhang, Master's Candidate
2012 to Present

erzhang@ucsd.edu

Erica is studying the effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on honey bee learning.





pictureMatt Endler, Master's Candidate
2012 to Present

mendler@ucsd.edu

Matt is studying how honey bee larvae can be infected with Nosema ceranae and how honey bee immune systems can be activated to resist such infection.






Former Lab Members

pictureAntoine Lecocq, Phd candidate visiting from the University of Copenhagen
2014

antoine@plen.ku.dk

Antoine will be studying the effect of Nosema ceranae infection on honey bee social behaviors.





pictureLee BenVau, Master's Candidate
2013 to Present

leebenvau@gmail.com

Lee is examining the links between an egg precusor protein, vitellogenin, which is associated with honey bee longevity, health, and immune function and the ability of bees to resist pollutants such as pesticides.




pictureSimone Tosi, visiting PhD Candidate from the University of Bologna
2013

s.tosi@unibo.it

In our lab, Simone studied the effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on honey bee flight ability.





pictureSpencer Huey, Master's Candidate
2011 to 2013

sdhuey@ucsd.edu

Spencer has been a Master's student in the Nieh Lab since 2011. His work focuses on how honey bees and native bee pollinators respond to insect and spider predators.




pictureAllison Bray, Master's Candidate
2011 to 2013

abray@ucsd.edu

Allison has been a Master's student in the Nieh Lab since 2011. Her work examines how honey bees detect and avoid predators while foraging on flowers.




pictureKyle Burks, Independent Researcher
2009 to 2013

kyleburks@gmail.com

Since 2009, Kyle is studying the function of bumble bee labial gland secretions inside and outside the nest. Labial glads secretions play an important role in stingless bee recruitment, but its function in bumble bees is not known.




pictureDaren Eiri, MS, Independent Researcher
2007 to 2013

deiri@ucsd.edu
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Daren Eiri has been involved in the lab since 2007 and originally worked on bumble bee acoustic recruitment. His Master's research focused on the sublethal effects the pesticide, imidacloprid, on honey bee foraging behavior. Daren graduated from UCSD in 2009 with a B.S. in Ecology, Behavior and Evolution and received his Master's in Biology in 2011. He is now looking at how Nosema infection affects the development of honey bee larvae.


pictureMeg Eckles, PhD Candidate
2004 to 2012

meckles@ucsd.edu
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Meg joined the lab in 2004 while she was an undergraduate, and began UCSD's PhD program in 2005. Her work focuses on cognition in bumblebees, how stingless bee use optic flow to measure distance and height, and testing functionally referential communication in the stingless bee Melipona panamica. Her previous work has included behavioral thermoregulation in yellowjackets (Vespula pennsylvanica) and optic flow use in bumblebees (Bombus impatiens). Her general research interests include cognition, learning and behavioral ecology of wasps and stingless bees. Meg graduated from UCSD in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Systems: Ecology, Behavior and Evolution. She received her PhD from the Division of Biological Sciences at UCSD in 2012.


pictureEben Goodale, Visiting Scholar

2004 to 2012

egoodale@ucsd.edu
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Eben joined the lab in 2010 as an ornithologist excited about the possibilities of working with social insects. Eben's research focuses on interspecific communication and its effect on community ecology. His past work has focused on alarm calling and vocal mimicry in mixed-species bird flocks, mostly in Sri Lanka. In the Nieh lab, Eben focused on interspecific information exchange about foraging between honey bees and bumble bees. In 2012, he began a new faculty position in China. For more details see his website.


pictureTyler Jack, MS
2009 to 2012

tjack@ucsd.edu

Tyler was been a Master's student in the Nieh Lab since 2009. Tyler graduated in 2012. His work focused on aversive learning and inhibitory signaling in honey bees and demonstrated that attacks from natural honey bee predators can elicit a signal that inhibits waggle dancing, the stop signal.




pictureBrian Park, MS
2009 to 2012

brpark@ucsd.edu

Brian Park is a former Masters student (graduated in 2012) studying seasonal influences on honey bee foraging in a semi-urban setting to determine what pollen resources, native and introduced, are important to bees throughout the year. He used genetic barcoding of collected pollen to identify the plants visited and the honey bee dance language to determine where bees have foraged.




pictureGuntima Suwannapong, Fulbright Scholar

2011

guntima@buu.ac.th
View ResearchGate Profile

Guntima Suwannapong was a Fulbright Thai Visiting Scholar visiting the lab to conduct research determining the function of the honey bee mandibular gland. Dr. Suwannapong is a faculty member in Biology at Burapha University, Thailand where she studies honey bee chemosensation and the effect of Nosema infection on honey bee health.


pictureElinor Lichtenberg, PhD
2005 to 2011

elichten@ucsd.edu
View CV

Elinor joined the Nieh lab in 2005. Her thesis research focuses on use of heterospecific scent marks (olfactory eavesdropping) by stingless bees. General research interests communication, foraging behavior, social information use, aggression and competition. As an undergraduate, Elinor studied a visual communication system in stalk-eyed flies (Cyrtodiopsis whitei) in the lab of Dr. Jerry Wilkinson. Prior to beginning UCSD's PhD program, she participated in an internship at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., seeking to improve captive kori bustard (Ardeotis kori) breeding success through behavioral research. Elinor obtained her Bachelor of Science (Biology: Behavior, Ecology, Evolution and Systematics) from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2003.


pictureJessica Hagbery, MS
2009 to 2011

jhagbery@ucsd.edu

Jessica studied foraging division of labor in bumble bees (Bombus impatiens), focusing on how individuals and colonies adapt to the loss of pollen foraging specialists. She demonstrated that generalist foragers could adaptively shift their preferences and collect significantly more pollen after pollen foraging specialists were removed and showed that these same generalists reverted to their original preferences when pollen specialists were restored.




pictureEduard Deneke, visiting MS student
2010

eduard.deneke@googlemail.com

Eddie studied bumble bee foraging and alarm activation.






pictureBrian Johnson, former Postdoctoral Fellow
2008 to 2009

brnjohnson@ucdavis.edu
View website information

Brian is currently a faculty member in the Department of Entomology at UC Davis where he uses honey bees as a model system to examine multiple questions in the areas of Behavioral Ecology and Behavioral Genetics.




pictureDan Su, MS
2006 to 2009

dan.kn.su@gmail.com

Dan studied foraging and alarm activation in the bumble bee, Bombus impatiens.






pictureTraci Kitaoka, MS
2006 to 2008

tkimikok@gmail.com

Traci studied how pollen odor can activate bumble bee pollen foraging.






pictureMichelle Renner, MS
2005 to 2007

michelle.a.renner@gmail.com

Michelle studied bumble bee olfactory information flow and contact based foraging activation.






pictureConstantine Lau, MS
2005 to 2007

lau.constantine@gmail.com

Constantine studied the proximate causes of an inhibitory signal, the stop signal, in honey bees.






pictureFelipe Contrera, former Postdoctoral Fellow
2005 to 2006

felipe@ufpa.br
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Felipe is currently a faculty member at the Universidade Federal do Pará in Belém, Brazil, where he studies the highly social bees, focusing on stingless bees as model systems. His research interests include Behavioral Ecology, Animal Communication, and Meliponiculture.




pictureKatherine Mapalad, MS
2004 to 2006

kmapalad@gmail.com

Katherine studied the effect of pollen protein quality on bumble bee thoracic temperatures.






pictureNik Sadler, MS
2003 to 2005


Nik studied the effect of honey bee recruitment motivation on forager thoracic temperatures.






pictureHien Nguyen, MS
2003 to 2005

henry6@gmail.com

Hien studied the foraging activation in the bumble bee species, Bombus occidentalis.






James Nieh