Research Molecular Biologist
Vincent A Ricigliano
I am applying a systems approach towards understanding and improving honey bee health at multiple levels of organizational complexity. Honey bee colonies are adaptively organized entities that acquire and assimilate nutrition on a landscape scale. Agriculturally and economically, the colony is the most important unit of honey bee organization. I am using molecular genetic techniques to measure colony-level effects of nutrition and landscape dynamics in a commercial beekeeping operation involved in almond pollination.
A single colony is comprised of thousands of individual bees, therefore I also study physiology at the individual level. I am interested in how diet influences digestive processes, metabolism, and gut microbiome signaling.
The digestive tract of an individual bee is populated by a core microbial community comprising ~10^9 bacterial cells. These bacteria can be considered a physiological extension of the host, or an understudied organ which contributes to host digestive processes and nutrition. I am characterizing metabolic functions of gut bacteria and their contribution to bee nutrition and health.
I am also working on a biological control strategy against the Varroa mite, a devastating honey bee parasite.
No publications listed for this employee.