I am a Postdoctoral researcher working with Vincent Ricigliano on the intersection between honey bee nutrition and antiviral immunity. I completed my PhD at Montana State University in August 2021 where I studied new and novel antiviral immune genes and pathways. I am bringing that experience to the Baton Rouge Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics and Physiology lab to address a few key overarching research areas:
- Investigation of the physiological impacts of sustainable algae-augmented pollen substitutes on honey bees from the individual to the colony level. This includes integration of of small scale laboratory studies with colony level studies to understand how algae-based feeds improve colony performance and individual bee health and response to viral infection.
- The development of technology that increases throughput to allow discovery of novel therapeutics to mitigate hone bee colony losses due to disease. This includes integration of ultra-high throughput cell culture techniques with high-throughput disease state cage assays to establish a pipeline from the dish to the field that enables rational discovery and development of bee-saving therapeutics.
- The continued investigation of how honey bees defend themselves from virus infection at the molecular level. In the long-term, this means integration of classic virological techniques, with modern “-omics” techniques to describe the mechanistic underpinnings of honey bee antiviral immunity as well as identifying functional variation in honey bee antiviral immune genes.
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