Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Mailing address: P.O. Box 210088, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721-0088
I am interested in the effects of ecology and environmental change on genetic variation, and the application of population genetic information to conservation. At present I am investigating the genetic responses of Euglossine bee (orchid bee) populations to habitat fragmentation. Previous work has shown that Euglossine bee abundance declines in fragmented habitats. I seek to determine how habitat loss affects genetic diversity. In bee populations with low genetic diversity, individuals that would otherwise develop into females instead develop into sterile diploid males, because of the unique mode of sex determination in bees. I am investigating (1) the scale of gene flow and population structure in continuous forest and across habitat discontinuities (2) how genetic diversity, abundance, and diploid male load differ between large tracts of intact forest and highly fragmented areas and (3) how these factors differ among species, generalist and specialist bees, and how these factors vary with bee body size.