Lab Members

Neal Williams – I am an evolutionary ecologist whose research ranges from basic bee and pollination biology to conservation biology and agricultural pollination.  I am deeply interested in the interactions of flower visitors and the floral hosts which they often pollinate.  I explore questions about pollinators, flowering plants and pollination from a variety of perspectives and at different scales from the foraging of individual bees, to the persistence of their populations, to the stability and dynamics of their communities in space and time. –more about my research



Jennifer Van Wyk – I am broadly interested in floral evolution, pollinator community structure and global change.   Currently I work in restored wet meadows in the Sierra Nevada – investigating temporal patterns of pollinator community assembly and functional restoration.  My previous research has looked at butterfly constancy in a manipulated phenotypic array as well as single visit success and pollen load capacity of butterflies visiting Hymenoxys hoopesii.

unnamedLeslie Saul-Gershenz – My previous research documented cooperative aggressive chemical and visual mimicry in a blister beetle bee nest parasite. The larvae of Meloe franciscanus cooperate to mimic the sex pheromones of the solitary bee Habropoda pallida female to lure in males.  The larvae then attach to the male bee and then transfer to female bees when the male attempts to copulate with the female bee. My research interests include the evolution of chemical mimicry systems and the selection pressures on sex pheromone communication system of bees. I am also interested in the pollination ecology and conservation biology of native bees.


Margaret Rei Scampavia – My PhD research focuses on how farming practices affect nesting behavior and reproduction of native ground nesting bees, as well as the alfalfa leafcutter bee (Megachile rotundata). Specifically, I am interested in the effects of tillage, irrigation, and aerial applications of pesticides on nest substrate selection and offspring survival of bees living in agricultural areas.  I have also worked in the past to help the California Native Plant Society document native bee diversity in maritime chaparral in Knowland Park (Oakland, CA). Prior to my time at Davis, I studied pollinator visitation to two rare plants (Mentzelia leucophylla and Astragalus phoenix) occurring in the Ash Meadows Wildlife Refuge in Nye County, NV. or


DSCN1107Ross Brennan – My interests range from basic bee and plant biology to community ecology and ecosystem function. I am particularly fascinated by how species interact as members of complex networks, how individuals accumulate into populations and communities, and how species play different roles within ecological communities. My previous work has focused on the co-flowering phenology of montane wildflower communities, phenology and diversity of Rocky Mountain bee species, and characterizing a bipartite plant-pollinator interaction network across time. I hope to explore the spatiotemporal dynamics and ecosystem functional roles of various plants and pollinators within natural plant-pollinator networks. Megachile relativa is one of my favorite native bee species.


IMG_1646John Mola – Bumblebees, Foraging, Dispersal

I’m currently focused on the movement ecology of bumblebees. Specifically, I’m using genetic techniques to determine foraging ranges, colony density, and dispersal distances of Bombus vosnesenskii in natural landscapes. For my master’s work at Humboldt State University, I focused on the management potential of Osmia lignaria on small Northern California farms. I am broadly interested in pollination ecology, population ecology, population  genetics, and all things bees. or



OlaOla Lundin – I am interested in how functionally important insects in agriculture like pollinators, pests and natural enemies are affected by agricultural management and environmental drivers at the field, landscape and regional scale. In my PhD project I explored these questions in Swedish clover seed production, studying pollination and pest control provided by bumble bees and parasitoids attacking economically important seed predators. In my postdoc project I will be working with enhancement of pollination and pest control services with wildflower plantings as a part of the ICP project. My CV and Publications.

Claire Brittain – My research explores the effect of local farm attributes and landscape on pollination.  My expertise also extends to pesticide impacts on native bees. 



IMG_1734Kimiora Ward – I am working to increase the ecological functioning of pollinator habitat restorations by identifying key floral resources for support of wild bees and by developing establishment and maintenance techniques that foster both plant and insect diversity.  My background is in ecological genetics, natural resource management and native plant conservation.  I formerly managed the Seed Increase Program at the Institute for Applied Ecology in Oregon where the program goal was to increase the availability of ecologically appropriate and genetically diverse native forb seed for use in wet prairie restorations.



LRLogan Rowe –  I am  working on projects that aim to boost the abundance and diversity of native pollinators in agricultural systems.  My interests include examining the roles that native pollinators play in pollination systems and whether floral enhancements increase the populations of ground nesting bees within agricultural landscapes. I am also interested in more general questions related to pollen usage and foraging behavior in bees.

unnamed1Kitty Bolte – I am interested in increasing native bee abundance and diversity through restoration projects in agricultural settings, and also in understanding best practices for successfully implementing this type of restoration. I work closely with Kimiora to establish and maintain native habitat enhancements in almond and watermelon landscapes.



Jessica Drost (University of California, Davis 2017)

Sonja Glasser (University of California, Davis 2015)

Leila Haghi (University of California, Davis 2016)

Kevin Tahara (University of California, Davis 2017)




Jessica Forrest  Assistant Professor University of Ottawa

Jochen Fruend Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Guelph

Sandra Gillespie Postdoctoral Scholar, Simon Fraser University

Graduate Students

Katharina Ullmann (PhD) 2014 – I am currently employed as a Crop Pollination Specialist with the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. As part of this position I work on extension and outreach associated with the Integrated Crop Pollination Project. I continue to be interested in how pollinators and the services they provide persist in intensified agricultural landscapes. I am also interested in pollinator habitat restoration, extension, and science communication.  For more information about my previous experiences take a look at my CV. You can also look at the Pollinator Farm blog I manage.

Ryder Diaz (M.S.) 2012

Felix Klaus – (Fulbright Scholar) 2014 Current M.S. student in Teja Tschartnke’s group at Georg-August-University Göttingen


Sarah Bolm (University of California, Davis 2012)

Mira Parekh (University of California, Davis 2013)

Alexi Haack (University of California, Davis 2013)

Emily McGlynn (B.A., Bryn Mawr College 2009) – Native bee benefits for agriculture in the Mid-atlantic

Kristen Jenkins (B.A.,Bryn Mawr College 2009) – Functional Compensation and biodiversity loss

Sarah Allard (B.A.,Haverford College 2009) – Functional Compensation and biodiversity loss

Cecily Moyer (B.A.,Haverford College 2009) – The role of floral morphology and reward in structuring pollinator plant networks

Rosemary Malfi (B.A.,Bryn Mawr College 2007) – The effect of urban development on Bombus communities in the Delaware Valley, PA

Daniela Miteva (B.A.,Bryn Mawr College 2007) – Pollinator communities and pollination in eastern old fields, Pollinator and pollen deposition webs in restored meadows

Amanda Rahi (B.A.,Bryn Mawr College 2007) – The contributions of specialist and generalist bees to reproductive success of desert mallow