Upcoming Zayedlab talks in Portland, Markham and Montreal

By , November 15, 2014

A few upcoming talks… come by and say Hi!

November 18th 2o14
Entomological Society of America, Portland, USA  Symposium on: Genetic and Behavioral Mechanisms of Social Complexity: Current Challenges and Future Horizons by Drs  Rehan and Hunt
11 am – Evolution of regulatory networks influencing social behaviour in honey bee workers
Amro Zayed

Nov. 20th, 2014
Ontario Beekeepers Association’s 2014 annual meeting – Markham, Ontario
2:30 pm – Next generation tools for diagnosing & reversing declining bee health
Amro Zayed

Dec. 4th 2014
Rendez-vous Génome Québec, Montreal: The Future of “omics’ Applications
time: TBD , Next generation tools for diagnosing & reversing declining bee health
Amro Zayed

A night full of awards

By , November 15, 2014

Thursday November 13th 2014 was a very memorable day for me

It started on a great note with Nadia successfully defending her MSc thesis and graduating with ‘distinction’. We had a fun little celebration with some honey-inspired treats (including my new favourite… honey goat cheese!). The  lab then took-off to sing the night away at a nearby Karaoke bar (….and yes the rumours are true… i sang Madonna, Toni Braxton and Tracey Chapmen … we all have an #InnerDiva).

I then left the karaoke session early to attend the Faculty of Science‘s 2014 Award Ceremony. The night honours profs, graduate and undergraduate students in the faculty.

I received the Faculty of Science’s Early Career Research Award - a great honour considering the number of super-talented researchers the Faculty boasts. More touching however was the large number of awards that Zayedlab members received – 10

Here they are (in order of announcement)

Brock Harpur (PhD candidate) – Elia Scholarship (Jan – Aug 2014)
Brock Harpur (PhD candidate) – NSERC Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship  (Sept 2014)
Lior Krimus (Undergraduate) – York U President Honour roll
Lior Krimus (Undergraduate) - NSERC Undergrad summer research scholarship
Vijay Sandhu (Undergraduate) - NSERC Undergrad summer research scholarship
Harshil Patel (Undergraduate) – Queen Elizabeth II Scholarship
Lior Krimus (Undergraduate) – Dean of  Science’s Honour Roll
Harshil Patel (Undergraduate) - Dean of  Science’s Honour Roll
Vijay Sandhu (Undergraduate) - Dean of  Science’s Honour Roll
Keshna Sood (Undergraduate) - Dean of  Science’s Honour Roll

Lior has been working with us since last year on the Great Canadian Honey Bee Genome Survey. He and Vijay teamed up with Brock and Samir (visiting PhD fellow from Brazil) to study the genetics of several honey bee traits this year.  Harshil and Keshna are part of a massive study on the affects of agrochemicals on bee health this summer, a study led by now PhD candidate Nadia Tsvetkov.

I was truly honoured. It is one thing to write papers and get grants – but to see the team get some much accolades was both fantastic and humbling… It is truly a pleasure to get to interact with so many talented and enthusiastic students every day.

To members and almuni of the Zayedlab – thank you!

Amro

The summer 2014 field team: Phil, Harshil, Keshna, Vijay, Lior [L->R]

The summer 2014 field team: Phil, Harshil, Keshna, Vijay, Lior [L->R]

A master of distinction!

By , November 15, 2014

Congratulation to Nadia Tsvetkov for successfully defending her MSc thesis on learning and memory in honey bees. Nadia’s wrote a very nice review on the genetic of learning and memory in honey bees and conducted a very neat study on how social interaction influence learning and memory. She also led the development of a very neat assay to measure spatial memory in honey bees.

Her MSc degree was awarded with distinction (Top 5%).

Nadia has decided to stick around and do her PhD in the Zayedlab… She is currently leading a large scale study on how agrochemicals affect brain gene expression and behaviour of honey bees in Canada.

Congrats Nadia!

Nadia Tsvetkov, MSc

Nadia Tsvetkov, MSc

Samir and his Africanized ‘killer’ bees

By , September 8, 2014

Happy to welcome Samir Moura Kadri, a visiting PhD student from São Paulo State University from Botucatu, Brazil . We are hosting Samir here for the Fall 2014 and Winter 2015 terms to study the genetics of aggression in Africanized ‘Killer’ bees! Africanized bees are very defensive, and Samir studied variation in defensiveness across a large number of colonies in Brazil. He is here to apply genomics to understand the genetics of defensiveness in his colonies.

Here is a picture of Samir and a histogram of a measure of colony defensiveness in his study… the number of stings per minute!… yes, the upper limit is 100+ stings per minute… which is pretty nasty…

Thankfully, it was not 100 stings per minute that Samir actually received; he got the data by swinging a little suede-wrapped ball in front of the colonies… brave man! The range of defensive behaviour is very wide… about an order of magnitude difference between ‘happy go lucky africanized colonies ~ 20 stings per minute’ to ‘super aggressive killer bees – 120 stings per min’… bodes well for the genomic study!

Welcome Samir!
Amro

Samir and his 'killer' bees

Samir and his ‘killer’ bees

 

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 in PLoS ONE. 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.