Dr. Rodney Richardson joins the lab

By , February 20, 2019

I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Rodney Richardson who just started a postdoc in our group. Rodney joins us from Ohio State University where he pioneered methods for molecular diagnostic of pollen collected by honey bees. Here he is behind the BeeOMICS matrix! Welcome Rodney!

5 new papers and its only February

By , February 20, 2019

The Zayed lab is starting 2019 with a bang – 5 new papers out

Brock Harpur (former PhD student – now Assistant Prof at Prude) led a team of researchers to identify bits of DNA in the bee genome that affecting social immunity – a really cool experiment that just got published in Genome Biology and Evolution. – check out the press release below for more info

Harpur, B.A., Guarna, M.M., Huxter, E., Higo, H. Moon, K-M., Hoover, S.E., Ibrahim, A., Melathopoulos, A.P., Desai, S., Currie, R.W., Pernal, S.F., Foster, L.J., Zayed, A. (2019). Integrative genomics reveals the genetics and evolution of the honey bee’s social immune system. Genome Biology and Evolution. evz018, https://doi.org/10.1093/gbe/evz018 [link; press release]

Then, there was this lovely (if i am say so myself) review on honey bee population and quantitative genomics by Katie D (PhD Candidate) in Current Opinion in Insect Science.

Dogantzis, K.A., and Zayed, A. (2019) Recent advances in population and quantitive genomics of honey bees. Current Opinion in Insect Science. 31:93-98. [Invited review; link]

Then three papers with international collaborator. One with Dr. Karen Kapehim at Utah State which involved generating a new genome for the Alkali bee

Kapheim, K.M., Pan, H., Li, C., Blatti III, C., Harpur, B.A., Ioannidis, P., Jones, B.M., Kent, C.F., Ruzzante, L., Sloofman, L., Stolle, E., Waterhouse, R.M., Zayed, A., Zhang, G., Wcislo, W.T. (2019). Draft genome assembly and population genetics of an agricultural pollinator, the solitary alkali bee (Halictidae: Nomia melanderi). G3: Gene, Genomes, Genetics. doi:10.1534/g3.118.200865

Another with Drs. Nadine Chapman and Ben Oldroyd on the genetics of bees from Kangaroo Island.

Chapman, N.C., Sheng, J., Lim, J., Malfroy, S.F., Harpur, B.A., Zayed, A., Allsopp, M.H., Rinderer, T.E., Roberts, J.M.K, Remnant, E.J., Oldroyd, B.P. (2019). Genetic origins of honeybees (Apis mellifera) on Kangaroo Island and Norfolk Island (Australia) and Eua, Tongatapu and Vava’u islands, Kingdom of Tonga. Apidologie. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13592-018-0615-x

and yet another paper the Sydney bee crew; this time led by Dr. Nick Smith who spent a few month here as a visiting PhD fellow. Its an interesting look on balancing selection on cape bee genomes.

Smith, N.M.A. Wade, C., Allsopp, M.H., Harpur, B.A., Zayed, A., Rose, S.A., Engelstädter, J., Chapman, N.C., Yagound, B., Oldryod, B.P. (2019) Strikingly high levels of heterozygosity despite 20 years of inbreeding in a clonal honey bee. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 32:144-152.

This is shaping up to be a very productive year!

best,

Amro

 

El Presidente – elect

By , December 6, 2018

I am very happy to announce that I have been elected as the President of the Entomological Society of Ontario – Canada’s oldest entomological society! I will serve as President Elect till November 2019, then as President till November 2020, then as Past President till November 2021.

More info on the society can be found on their latest newsletter 

The entomological Society of Ontario’s executive; AGM 2018

 

Nadia Wins CAPA Student Merit Award

By , November 20, 2018

Congrats to Nadia Tsvetkov (PhD candidate) for wining the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists Student Merit Award. The Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists Student Merit Award was established to recognize outstanding achievement by a student in the field of apiculture.

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