Maria van Dyke

Lab Manager

My interest in bee ecology is rooted in the relationships between non-apis bees, native plants and what controls their nesting choices.  Healthy native bee communities are heavily linked to the proximity of floral and nesting resources as well as their ability to deal with temperature and moisture in their nests. Bees are constantly making choices to this end. The pressures from pests and pathogens are heavily linked to choices bees make. How might new pressures exerted by pesticide exposure in cropland affect native bee reproductive success?  I seek to bridge the knowledge gap between these new scientific discoveries, the public, and policy makers through education and outreach, increasing the understanding of native bee biology and ecology.  Ultimately, I seek to educate policy makers to conserve and increase native bee populations on both agricultural and natural lands.

My broader interests include: bee response to climate change; native bee diversity on natural and agricultural landscapes; oligolectic relationships of bees and plants; and response of native bee diversity to restored grasslands. I completed my Master’s degree with Dr. T’ai Roulston at the University of Virginia. My research there identified substrate nesting preferences of ground nesting bee species. I have taught workshops on native bee biology and management, provided consultation to private landowners on native bee management, and conducted taxonomic identification for institutions and private landowners.

Research Interests

bee nesting ecology, effects of pesticides on bees, outreach education, bee-ecosystem conservation planning