Research on Climate Events in Bumble bee Communities

This is a summer field ecology project aimed at understanding the influence of climate events on bee communities. Climate change is known to have impacted bumble bee communities but the role of climate related events, such as heat waves or hard rains on communities is poorly documented.

This project will involve surveying a few sites weekly across the field season for bumble bees, assessing abundances of each species, plants foraged, nectar vs. pollen foraging, temperature, and body size during sampling, with the aim to sample non-lethally after training on field ID. The weather, most notably temperature and rain events, will be recorded and the shifts in the communities after these events will be documented. In addition (and especially if weather events do not occur) data will be used to improve understanding of bumble bee forage plants and whether bumble bees vary in how and when they forage by body size. This experience will train students in bumble bee biology and biodiversity and field research and ideally lead to publishable research. Students may also work with PI Hines in preparing field guides and outreach materials to share knowledge of these bees with the public. The project will run across the main phenological season for bumble bee workers (June 1 - July 31) and involve considerable time outdoors. The students will train for the research in the Spring semester for credit and work with PI Hines on preparing a research proposal to fund this research. Summer research will be a paid position.

Campus(es): 
University Park
Work Setting(s): 
Hybrid
Area(s): 
Life Sciences
Description of responsibilities and minimum qualifications: 

Must have an interest in research careers and the natural sciences. Must be willing to work outdoors for long hours and have time available in the Spring and at least 15 hr/wk to dedicate in the summer. A student GPA above a 3.2 preferred.

Available Term(s): 
Summer
Position Type(s): 
Variable
Number of positions available: 
1
Application Instructions: 

Please send an email and CV to PI Hines (hmh19@psu.edu) describing your interest and availability for this project.

Active Until: 
June 1, 2024