Category: News

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

 

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!

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]