Bees on Balsa photo DR. KAREN KAPHEIM
Associate Professor
Department of Biology
Utah State University

WHEN:  March 19, 2021 at Noon
WHERE: Seminar will be presented via Zoom

 

Please complete the RSVP FORM to receive the Zoom Meeting link. Forms can be submitted any time before the Seminar but not after 10:00am the day of the seminar.

Causes and consequences of behavioral plasticity in bees

The great insect societies found among ants, bees, and wasps are exemplars of phenotypic plasticity, as multiple behavioral and morphological phenotypes (castes: queens, workers) develop from a shared genotype. This plasticity provides the substrate for some of the most sophisticated forms of cooperative behavior found among animals. Yet the role of plasticity as both cause and consequence of social evolution is not clear. My research is centered on investigating the mechanistic underpinnings of variation in social behavior among bees, and using these insights to understand the evolutionary processes responsible for its origins and elaborations. My talk will focus primarily on my work with a tropical, nocturnal sweat bee (Megalopta genalis), which exhibits both solitary and social behavior in sympatry. I will discuss recent findings regarding the genomic basis for this behavioral polyphenism in light of the role of phenotypic plasticity in social evolution.

 Everyone is welcome to join the seminar, please complete the RSVP FORM to receive the Zoom link. Forms can be submitted any time before the seminar but not after 10:00am the day of the seminar.