New genome for an at-risk bumblebee

By , August 15, 2018

Happy to announce the publication of the genome of the yellow banded bumblebee ; an at-risk species that has substantially declined in Canada and the US. The genome will help us better understand the factors underlying the species’s decline.

Please check out the press release and the paper online.

 

New paper on spatial learning in bees

By , August 15, 2018

Nadia recently published a new assay for studying learning and memory in honey bees.

Here is a link to the paper, and the press release 

 

Postdoctoral or Research Associate Position in genomics and bioinformatics at York University, Toronto, Canada.

By , July 13, 2018

The honey bee lab (www.yorku.ca/zayedlab) at York University’s Dept. of Biology (Toronto, Canada) has a position available for a postdoctoral fellow or research associate with demonstrable expertise in genomics and bioinformatics starting September 2018. We are particularly seeking individuals that have experiences in genome wide association studies.

The successful candidate will participate in the ‘BeeOMICs’ project – a large-scale association study of honey bees comprised of over one thousand colony ‘genomes’ and many colony-level phenotypes.

Qualified candidates are encouraged to submit a cover letter outlining their expertise, a CV, reprints of relevant papers, and contact information for 3 referees to honeybee@yorku.ca before August 25th. Compensation commensurate with experience.

Best,

Dr. Amro Zayed
York Research Chair in Genomics
Associate Professor
Department of Biology
York University
4700 Keele Street, Toronto
M3J 1P3, ON, Canada
Email: zayed[at]yorku.ca
http://www.yorku.ca/zayedlab

 

Farewell Prof. Betti!

By , July 11, 2018

Just wanted to congratulate Dr. Matt Betti, who is leaving the lab to take up an Assistant Professor Position at Department of Math and Computer Science at Mount Allison University. Matt was a co-supervised NSERC postdoctoral fellow in my lab and Dr. Jane Heffernan at the Dept. of Math.

Here is a picture of Matt in action during a recent J. Club meeting.  We will miss you Matt. Best of luck for the future!

Similar social behaviour, Similar Genes?

By , July 10, 2018

Happy to report the publication of a new paper from the lab, in collaboration with Drs. Amy Toth (Iowa State) and Laura Beani (Università di Firenze). The paper was led by PhD Candidate Katie Dogantzis, and involved generating new population genomics data for paper wasps and comparing the data to honey bees and bumblebees.  We found that paper wasps and bumblebees have more in common, relative to paper wasps than honeybees, when it comes to adaptive changes in protein coding genes.

Congrats Katie!

Dogantzis, K.A., Harpur, B.A., Rodriques, A., Beani, L., Toth, A.L. and Zayed, A. (2018). Insects with similar social complexity show convergent patterns of adaptive molecular evolution. Nature Scientific Reports. 8:10388. DOI:10.1038/s41598-018-28489-5 [link]

New Paper – NNIs and the poisoned oasis!

By , July 9, 2018

Check out this new perspective by PhD student Nadia Tsvetkov on the consequences of neonicotinoid spillover on honey bees, recently published by TheScienceBreaker

https://www.thesciencebreaker.org/breaks/earth-space/the-poisoned-oasis-neonicotinoid-spillover-harms-bees-near-corn

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!