February grads

Defending grad theses in February has be(e)come a habit in our lab.  Yesterday Lyndon Duff defended his thesis about body size effects on male mating strategies in eastern carpenter bees.  After a rush to finish all the official requirements, he’ll be a full-fledged PhD student in about 10 days!  Congratulations, Lyndon!IMG_20160507_134244.jpg

One I missed noting, and this is terrible, was the PhD defense of Jess Vickruck last February (yes, in 2017.  I lose track of things in Februaries…).  Jess’s thesis was on the social behaviour of female carpenter bees.  Jess is now a post-doc at the University of Calgary – here she is in a tweet from CSEE-SCEE in honour of Women in Science day, 11 Feb 2018.

I do have a cute story to tell about Jess’s graduation.  After the formal convocation in which Jess received her degree, a bunch of carpenter bees came out and flew around her in her academic regalia.  It was great!

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R-rhyme for an unproductive evening

For want of a comma, the index was lost
For want of an index, the matrix was lost 
For want of a matrix, the output was lost 
For want of an output, my evening was lost. 
Could have been worse...

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Rapid initial recovery and long-term persistence of a bee community in a former landfill

We’re having an Andy Warhol day!  First, a nice piece in the Brock News about our recent paper on 10 years (yes, ten!) of bee monitoring at the Glenridge Quarry Naturalization Site.  Then some tweeting, including from NSERC and Canada’s Science Minister.  That’s quite exciting!

A lot of people contributed to this work over the years, especially Tom Onuferko, who identified a lot of bees, and Dimitri Skandalis, who crunched a lot of numbers.

Onuferko first page


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Dave and new RNA-Seq data, complete with certificate of authenticity and a cute little box to keep the data in!

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Yellow-faced bee on goldenrod

IMG_0422 cropped Hylaeus goldenrod

One of the last bees in our garden was this tiny little yellow-faced bee (Hylaeus), foraging on goldenrod in mid-September.  The bee loves the goldenrod.  Me, too.   I don’t really understand why so many people dismiss such beautiful blossoms as mere weeds.

IMG_0424 cropped Hylaeus

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Look up – waaaay up….

There’s a bumblebee on one of these giant sunflowers in our garden (4 m tall!).   She was a big one – you can see her even though she was up there! IMG_0906.jpgIMG_0909.jpg

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Pan-trapping Day 3, Year 14 (!!!)

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