New paper out with…. MayB!!!!!

By , June 7, 2018

It always feels good when I get to work with some of my text book heros – the accomplished scientists that you read and idolize at different stages of your academic career.  So, when Dr. May Berenbaum [National Academy Member/Department Heat of Illinois’ Entomology/National Medal of Science winner… i like to say that former President Obama got his photo taken with May] emailed me a year ago to collaborate, i said ‘yes’ immediately! (i also went around telling everyone within a 30 m radius that we were going to be working with MayB!)

The resulting analysis was just published in Insectes Sociaux. Its a fun little paper about how social bees, who have an extreme pollen- and nectar-rich diet have evolved to cope with some of the nasty chemicals that plants use against herbivorous insects

  1. Johnson, R.M., Harpur, B.A., Dogantzis, K., Zayed, A., and Berenbaum, M.R. (2018). Genomic footprint of evolution of eusocilaity in bees: floral food use and CYPome “blooms”. Insectes Sociaux. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00040-018-0631-x [link]

Prof. Harpur!

By , June 7, 2018

Big congrats to former PhD and MSc student Brock Harpur who will be starting his own group as an Assistant Professor at Purdue University (USA) in 2019.

All the best Brock!

Katie and Dova win OGS awards

By , May 4, 2018

Congrats to PhD candidates Katie and Dova for being awarded Ontario Graduate Scholarships from the Province of Ontario.  Well deserved!

 

Katie passes PhD Prelim!

By , April 26, 2018

Happy to report that Katie D aced her PhD Preliminary Exam today! Katie’s PhD research involves studying the evolutionary history of Apis, with a special emphasis on African and Africanized populations.

Congrats Katie! 

Brock wins the 2017 Eickwort

By , November 10, 2017

I am so happy to announce that zayedlab alum Dr. Brock Harpur won the 2017 George C. Eickwort award from the North American Section of the International Union for the Study of Social Insects… wow! this is a huge deal.

The late and great Dr. George C. Eickwort was a giant in the field – please read more about his illustrious life here. My PhD supervisor (Dr. Laurence Packer) was a colleague of Dr. Eickwort, and it was always fun listening to Laurence speak about George and the Eickwortian Legends! [my favourite story is the one where Laurence, George and I think Dr. Bill Wcislo were digging up sweat bee nests in the desert and broke the water lines to the Biosphere2]

The Eickwort award is annually given to a PhD student or recent graduate that “shows the most distinguished record of research and scholarly activity in the area of social insect biology.” Needless to say, given the amazing amount of talented social insect biologists in North America, this award is super competitive.  Brock Harpur did his MSc and his PhD in the lab, and we are all just super thrilled to seem him win this award.

Congrats Brock! Amazing achievement!

Welcome Matt Betti and RAYs!

By , September 15, 2017

Very happy to announce that Dr. Matt Betti (PhD in Applied Mathematics from Western U) is joining YorkU’s faculty of science to work on mathematical aspects of bee health and evolution. Matt is co-advised by Professor  Jane Heffernan (Dept. Math, YU Centre for disease modelling) and myself. Matt has done some fantastic work for his PhD on modelling infection in bee colonies and developed the bee health simulator, Bee++. We are really looking forward to collaborating on some exciting aspects of bee health and social evolution!

Math + Bees = Sweet Science :) Dr. Matt Betti (Left) and Professor Jane Heffernan (Right)...

Math + Bees = Sweet Science 🙂
Dr. Matt Betti (Left) and Professor Jane Heffernan (Right)…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also happy to announce a new cohort of Research At York Undergrads that joined us for the fall / winter term.

New RAY students: [L to R] Sara, Dasha and AJ

New RAY students: [L to R] Sara, Dasha and AJ

Research associate / postdoctoral position in Bee Genetics

By , July 21, 2017

Research associate / postdoctoral position in honey bee genetics at York University, Toronto, Canada.

The Zayed lab (www.yorku.ca/zayedlab) at the Department of Biology, York University (Toronto, Canada) has a position available for either a postdoctoral fellow or a research associate with expertise in insect molecular biology and genetics, starting September 2017. We are particularly seeking individuals that have expertise in either molecular biology (specifically, manipulating gene expression or genome editing) or bioinformatics; knowledge of social insects would be an asset.

The successful candidate will participate in several projects relating to identifying and characterizing genes underlying social traits in honey bees.

Qualified candidates must have a doctoral degree, several first author-publications in relevant fields, and excellent communication skills.

Please submit your CV, a summary of your research background, and contact information for 3 referees to zayed(at)yorku.ca before August 25th 2017.

New paper on pesticides and honey bees

By , July 4, 2017

Greetings all,
Our paper on honey bee health near corn crops was published last week in the journal Science. The study was funded by the Government of Ontario. The research team included collaborators from Laval led by Dr. Valérie Fournier, and several zayedlab undergrads that worked with Nadia on this large project.

While normally i would write a little summary, a lot of our findings have been summarized in the news, so you can read about the study at Nature News, Forbes, NPR, AAAS, Metro,LA Times, The Scientist, New Scientist, Washington Post, Radio Canada International, BBC News, The Guardian, The Star, Vice, Scientific American. Also check out the Editor’s Summary, and  Dr. Jeremy Kerr (U. Ottawa)’s Op Ed Story.

The paper can be accessed using the link below.

Tsvetkov, N., Samson-Robert, O., Sood, K., Patel, H.S., Malena, D.A., Gajiwala, P.H., Maciukiewicz, P., Fournier, V., Zayed, A. (2017). Chronic exposure to neonicotinoids reduces honeybee health near corn crops. Science. 356:1395-1397. [link]

Harshil wins best ‘lighting’ talk at OE3C

By , May 23, 2017

Congrats to MSc Student Harshil Patel for wining best ‘lighting’ talk at the OE3C meeting hosted by Queens University last weekend.  Harshil presented on his BeeOmics research that strives to map out the genetics of hygienic behaviour and overwintering mortality in honey bees.

Congrats H

Harshil is third from the left. [Photo Credit - Oe3C]

Congrats to Harshil (third from the left) and other winners. [Photo Credit – Oe3C]

arshil!

New Cohort of Summer Undergrads

By , May 23, 2017

We have a fabulous group of undergrads joining the lab this summer.

Carrie and Kabeer are DURA fellows; DURA is the Dean’s Undergraduate Research Award; it allows a select group of undergrads to carry out full time research over the summer.  Congrats Carrie and Kabeer for securing these highly competitive awards.

Jaafar, Dasha and Laura are also joining the lab this summer as Research At York (RAY) students.

So much excitement! Here is to a very productive summer!

 

L-R: Carrie, Alivia, Jaafar, Kabeer, Dasha, and Laura

L-R: Carrie, Alivia, Jaafar, Kabeer, Dasha, and Laura