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Women in STEM

Bumblebees Carry Heavy Loads in Economy Mode

Written by Andy Fell

Bumblebees are the big lifters of the insect world, able to fly back to the hive with almost their own body weight in nectar on board. A study published Feb. 5 in Science Advances shows how they do it — and that bees can show more flexibility in behavior than you might expect from a bumbling insect. 

Discovering Curiosity: Brain Puzzles with UC Davis Center for Neuroscience Director Kimberley McAllister

Quick Summary
  • Kimberley McAllister studies the developing brain
  • Part of her research focuses on why viral infection during pregnancy can increase the likelihood of a child developing autism and schizophrenia
  • McAllister was named director of the UC Davis Center for Neuroscience in 2018, becoming the first female to occupy the role

Puzzles always fascinated UC Davis Center for Neuroscience Director Kimberley McAllister. They’re initially what attracted her to science.

Social Bee-stortion: Exploring Pesticide’s Effects on Pollinators

Quick Summary
  • Researchers observed the effects of imidacloprid, a pesticide, on bumblebee behaviors within the hive
  • To study this hidden world, they outfitted bumblebees with tiny QR code tags and tracked individuals with video
  • They found imidacloprid disrupts nest behavior, causing reduced growth in exposed colonies 

A pesticide banned in the European Union but still in use in the United States is proving to have detrimental effects on pollinators.