Bumble bee body size variation and its consequences

Body size is a fundamental trait with profound physiological and ecological consequences. Variation in size affects individual fitness and influences resource use and species interactions. In bumble bees, body size is highly variable between and within species and castes. However, there is recent evidence of declines in bumble bee body size. These declines have been linked to changes in climate, but the breadth and consequences of body size in wild bumble bees is poorly understood.

 

My research is helping develop a more holistic understanding of the consequences of size variation within and between bee species.

Previous research

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Experimental plant demography
Native bees and prairie restoration
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Bumble bee diseases

photo: James Waters

Rare plant conservation
Urban bee morphology
Experimental warming chambers