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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Staff

 Dr. Thomas Rinderer

Dr. Thomas E. Rinderer is the Research Leader and a Research Geneticist.  He has conducted a variety of research on Africanized bees, honey bee behavior and genetics, honey production and Russian honey bees resistant to Varroa destructor (varroa mites). Currently he is examining Russian honey bee resistance to varroa mites for measurements that could be used to select for resistance in other stocks of honey bees.

Phone (225) 767-9280, 767-9281. E-mail:


Dr. Katherine A. Aronstein is a Research Molecular Biologist. She has studied immunity of honey bees.  She was involved in the honey bee genome sequencing project to identify immunity-related genes, and was the primary researcher that sequenced the genomes of the pathogens that cause chalkbrood disease and American Foulbrood.  Her current research is aimed at finding and selecting specific traits of honey bee larvae associated with resistance to pathogens.


Phone (225) 767-9284.  E-mail:

 Dr. Lanie Bilodeau

Dr. A. Lelania Bourgeois is a Research Molecular Biologist. Her primary interests are pathogen detection and gene identification for disease resistance.  She has developed genetic detection assays for Nosema ceranae and Nosema apis, markers for stock identification of Russian honey bees and identified genetically-based resistance to Nosema spp.  She is currently examining and identifying genes associated with sub-family-based resistance to Nosema spp.

Phone (225) 767-9288. E-mail:

Dr. Robert G. Danka is a Research Entomologist.  His primary interests are honey bee behavior and pollination.  He has led studies on behavior and management of Africanized honey bees, honey bee behavior related to crop pollination, and genetic resistance of honey bees to tracheal and varroa mites.  Current efforts are aimed at increasing our understanding of resistant honey bees, and fostering adoption of resistant honey bees by beekeepers.  

Phone (225) 767-9294. E-mail:

 Dr. Lilia De Guzman

Dr. Lilia I. de Guzman is a Research Entomologist. She has studied varroa and tracheal mite resistance of Yugoslavian and Russian bees.  Her current focus is grooming behavior by Russian honey bees against varroa mites, and finding methods that reduce the impact of small hive beetles in honey bee colonies.

Phone (225) 767-9282. E-mail:

Technical Staff

Biological technicians at the laboratory assist in all aspects of conducting research. Work activities take place both in the field and in laboratory, and in many different places - in Baton Rouge, at other U.S. locations and in foreign countries.  The technical staff are:

Ms. Lorraine D. Beaman, genetic markers for disease resistant research.
Phone (225) 767-9295. E-mail:

Ms. Deanna Colby, disease resistant research.
Phone (225) 767-9284. E-mail: 

Mr. Bob L. Cox, honey bee management research.
Phone (225) 767-9294. E-Mail:

Mr. Garrett E. Dodds, studies of varroa-resistant honey bees.
Phone (225) 767-9290.  E-mail:

Mr. David F. Dodge, studies of varroa–resistant honey bees.
Phone (225) 767-9283. E-mail:

Ms. Amanda M. Frake ("Mandy"), Russian honey bee research.
Phone (225) 767-9298.  E-mail:

Ms. Sharon L. O'Brien, Russian honey bee research.
Ohone (225) 767-9280.  E-mail:

Mr. Victor P. Rainey, research on mite resistance.
Phone (225) 767-9284. E-mail:

Mr. J. Anthony Stelzer ("Tony"), Russian honey bee research.
Phone (225) 202-6131. E-mail:

Mr. Philip Tokarz, genetic markers for disease reistance research.
Phone (225) 767-9286. E-mail:

Mr. Joshua W. Wales ("Josh"), Russian honey bee research and stock management.
Phone (225) 767-9296.  E-mail:

Mr. Daniel D. Winfrey ("Dan"), studies of honey bees.
Phone (225) 767-9287. E-mail:

Ms. Sandra Hineman, ("Sandy"), Program Support Assistant and in-house administrative functions.
Phone (225) 767-9280.  E-mail:

Biological Aides contribute to achieving the research mission in a variety of ways - clerical, data entry, lab work and field crew.  They are:

   Joshua Broussard
Michael Carruth
   Joe Grinner
   Ryan Guedry  
   Jarmon King
   Brielle Miles
  Alyzza Prudente

  John West 

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Last Modified: 9/9/2015