New paper on the immune system of honey bees

By , August 29, 2014

Happy to announce a new publication from the lab on the immune system of honey bees. The study explored the genetic relationship between the honey bee’s innate and social immune system. The study was authored by PhD candidate Brock Harpur, with strong contributions from Anna Chernyshova and Arash Soltani – two honours thesis students in my lab (2012). MSc Candidate Nadia Tsvetkov and NSERC USRA students Mohammad and Jack (Zhixing) were instrumental in completing the field-work .

A general summary of the research will follow in a few days…

Amro

Bee Conference @ YorkU Aug 29th 2014

By , August 23, 2014

Hello,
Happy to announce BeeCon3 – Southern Ontario Bee Researchers Symposium – to be held at York University On August 29th 2014.

Here is a link for the full program, BeeCon 2014 program

Program: 

Start
End
Speaker
Talk Title
9:309:45Welcome and coffee at TEL Building 0007
9:4510:00Nigel E. Raine*, Richard J. Gill, and Dara A. StanleyThe impacts of pesticides on bumblebees: from individual behaviour to colony function
10:0010:15Sheila R. Colla* and Victoria MacPhailConserving the buzz: Updates on a policy and ENGO approach to at-risk pollinator conservation
10:1510:30Nadejda Tsvetkov*, Keshna Sood, Harshillkumar Patel, Philip Maciukiewicz, and Amro ZayedPesticide effects on honeybee behaviour
10:3010:45Jen Albert*, Scott MacIvor, and Laurence PackerInbreeding in cavity-nesting megachilids
10:4511:00Laurence PackerBarcoding the bees of the world Ð Progress and prognosis
11:0011:30Coffee break
11:3011:45Scott MacIvorDetection probabilities of native and exotic bees in an urban landscape
11:4512:00Keshna Sood*, Nadejda Tsvetkov, and Amro ZayedThe impact of neonicotinoids on spatial learning and memory on Apis mellifera
12:0012:15Harshilkumar Patel*, Nadejda Tsvetkov, Keshna Sood, and Phillip MaciukiewiczEffects of neonicotinoids on social and innate immunity in the honeybee
12:1512:30Thomas M. OnuferkoResolving a conflict between molecular and morphological data: The systematic position of Coelioxoides
12:3014:00Lunch and an optional tour of the York bee collection (345 Lumbers Building)
14:0014:30Plenary speaker: Sophie CardinalEvolution of buzz pollination in bees
14:3014:45Miriam Richards*, Andreea Botezatu, Jess Vickruck, and Gary PickeringDo eastern carpenter bees use cuticular hydrocarbons to recognize nest-mates?
14:4515:00Amro ZayedWhat can population genomics tell us about the evolution of sociality in insects?
15:0015:30Coffee break
15:3015:45David AwdeForaging and vitellogenin gene expression patterns in eusocial sweat bees using qRT-PCR
15:4516:00Lior Krimus*, Phillip Maciukiewicz, Vijay Sandhu, Brock A. Harpur, and Amro ZayedThe Canadian Honey Bee Genome Survey
16:0016:15James PostlethwaiteBiogeography of Chilean bees in the Atacama Desert: with a focus on the boundary between summer and winter rainfall regions
16:1516:30Vern LewisExtended parental care in a twig nesting carpenter bee
16:3016:45Brock A. Harpur* and Amro ZayedBottom-up identification of convergent evolution in Apis mellifera
16:4517:00Spencer K. MoncktonChilicola (Heteroediscelis): A revised group of Chilean bees
17:0017:15Sandra RehanHistorical biogeography predicts social complexity in the small carpenter bees

Brock wins CSEE talk prize!

By , August 1, 2014

Congrats to Brock for winning the 3rd place award for best student talk at the Canadian Society of Ecology and Evolution’s meeting in Montreal last May. Brock presented some of his PhD research on population genomics of the honey bee.

Check out CSEE’s summer bulletin for the official announcement.

Zayed lab talks @ IUSSI2014

By , July 8, 2014

Just as the FIFA world cup winds down, the world cup of social insects starts in Cairns, Australia! The International Union for the Study of Social Insects (IUSSI) holds an international congress every 4 years. If you happen to be in Cairns – or if you want a good excuse to visit Cairns …. other than the barrier reef, tropical weather, rainforest, nice folks…. come check out the IUSSI Congress from the 13th to the 18th of July.

Lab members are on 5 presentations, including:

OR166

Molecular evolution of the honeybee brain transcription regulatory network. Daria Molodtsova, Amro Zayed, Tuesday, Meeting Room 4, 11:30 am
[I'll probably give that talk as Daria can't make it]

OR222

Population genomics of the honeybee, Apis mellifera. Brock Harpur, Clement Kent, Amro Zayed, Wednesday, Meeting Room 2, 11:00 am

OR282

Population genomic approaches for studying the evolution of sociality. Amro Zayed, Thursday, meeting room 3, 10:45 am

OR388

Seek and Ye Shall Find: Seeking selection for sociality. Clement Kent, Amro Zayed, Karl Glastad, Karen Kapheim, Friday, Meeting Room 4, 11:00 am [Former postdoc Dr. Clement Kent will be talking about a Robinson/Kapheim/Goodisman/Zayed lab collaboration]

OR385

SNP identification of Africanized honeybees. Nadine C Chapman, Julie Lim, Amro Zayed, Tom E Rinderer, Ben P Oldroyd, Friday, Meeting Room 3, 14:15 [Nadine is woking with Dr. Oldroyd, and will be presenting on an Oldroyd/Zayed lab collaboration]

hope to c ya in Cairns!

Amro

 

Amro on People Behind the Science!

By , June 9, 2014

Want to know why i got into science, and what i do when i am not in the lab…. Check out my interview for People Behind the Science! Also check out other interviews on this cool site!

Amro

Upcoming talks…

By , May 23, 2014

If you are in Montreal next week, check out Brock Harpur’s talk on balancing selection in the bee genome, Monday 26 @ the Canadian Society of Ecology and Evolution‘s Genome To Biomes conference.

Tenure cake!

By , May 15, 2014

The lab threw me a surprise tenure party yesterday!… Here is a few pics of the celebration!

20140515-093906.jpg

Tenure Cake

Tenured Card

Tenured Card

20140515-094024.jpg

BeeUnit v.2014 L to R: Maisha, Jen, Keshna, Vijay, Nadia, Amro, Brock, Alivia, Sunny, Lior, Harshil. [Missing: Daria and Phil]

Tenurepro at last!

By , May 8, 2014

This will sound very cheesy, but all of my life I wanted to be a tenured prof; at least since 1998 when, as an undergrad, I finally discovered what an amazing gig my university professors had; a job where you get to do what YOU want to do, ask interesting questions, do cool experiments, and interact with bright students… who wouldn’t want that?

I remember walking into Laurence Packer’s office (my entomology prof turned PhD advisor) in 1998 and telling him half-jokingly: “I want to be like you when I grow up”. Then the long journey started. A 6 year PhD (2000 to 2006), a 3 year postdoc (2006 to 2009), then I started my tenure-track position on July 1st 2009. This however was not the end of the journey; Assistant Professors live in the Ivory tower, but they just rent it… they can be evicted from this glorious institution at any time!

And so, after five years of hard work, trials and tribulations, much less hair, a wife and 2 kids, I received THE letter today. I opened President Shoukri’s letter  with great anticipation. The text, as written, went something like “It is with pleasure that I accept the unanimous recommendations of the Adjudicating and Senate Review Committees that you be granted tenure and promoted to Associate Professor, effective July 1, 2014”.

In my mind, it played a bit differently…

Voice: ‘Kneel, Assistant Professor Amro Zayed

[i feel the weight of a heavy sceptre on my right shoulder and then on my left]

Voice: ‘Rise, Associate Professor Amro Zayed, White Knight of the Ivory Tower, Defender of the light, Keeper of bees

With your eyes… Amro!

By , April 30, 2014

I was very happy to be one of 21 Canadian faculty members to participate in the 2014 Science Leadership Program, organized by Dr. Ray Jayawardhana and the University of Toronto’s Science Engagement team. It was a two-day leadership/communication/engagement boot camp! Check out Elaine Smith’s UoT news story about this (see the picture in the link; I am the bold guy on the right, trying to balance a hula hop with 10 other fellows!). It was a great experience… Among other things, i have a lovely memory of 21 super-smart professors throwing a pink tennis ball around the room… with their eyes!

Amro

Ontario funds research on pesticides and bee health

By , April 27, 2014

Happy to report that the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture is funding our research on “The effects of sublethal neonicotinoid exposure on brain state and behaviour of honey bee workers”. We will study how exposure to some common neonicotinoid pesticides affect the brain state of honey bees, and how it affects aspects of their spatial memory and immunity.

Our research was one of five projects funded by Ontario to help investigate the province’s alarming bee declines.

Amro