Lila is a Ph.D. candidate studying pollinator
ecology, specifically the foraging behavior of
native bees across a variety of flowering
landscapes in western Washington and the impact of
forage patterns on native bee health and fitness.
Native bees search among angiosperms to find the
most nutritionally sufficient food sources for
their offspring, and the patterns of foraging
behavior and their impact on development are not
well understood. Along with pollen, bees collect
microorganisms such as bacteria on the surface of
flowers, which are transported back to the nest
and are thought to play a role in the development
of offspring. Lila is working to identify pollen
and microorganisms collected from native mason
bees using Next-Generation Sequencing, a novel
genetic analysis technology in the study of native
bees. Bee pollinators, especially native species,
are increasingly important as other pollinator
species are shown to be in decline. Prior to
coming to the UW, Lila earned a B.S. in plant
breeding and genetics from the University of
here to learn more about Lila's research.
Alex is a Ph.D. student who earned a B.S. in
Integrative Biology from the University of
Illinois, researching the nesting ecology of
ground dwelling bees. With a taste for field
research and a love for the outdoors, Alex moved
west to pursue graduate work in the School of
Environmental and Forest Sciences. In his time
climbing and hiking, Alex has always come back to
the same broad question: why do insect
disturbances occur in some locations but not
others? The iconic forests of the Pacific
Northwest have been the perfect system to begin
exploring this question, with insect disturbances
occurring over highly variable spatial and
temporal scales. His research focuses on
identifying how native forest insect disturbances
have changed in recent decades across the Pacific
Northwest. Using long term regional data sets and
intensive field sampling, Alex hopes to provide a
better understanding of the processes driving
these outbreak patterns and how they may shift as
the climate continues to change.
Autumn is a M.S. student who received her B.S. in
Natural Resources from the University of Vermont
in 2018. As an undergraduate, she had the
privilege to participate in conservation projects
in New England and New Zealand. Prior to entering
graduate school, she worked as an outdoor educator
and encouraged students to engage in environmental
stewardship while gardening, beekeeping, and
exploring. Broadly, her research interests include
entomophily, insect ecology, native landscape
restoration, and disturbance ecology. Autumnís
research project will discuss the effect of
disturbance on established forest pollinator
Lab Alumni: Graduate Students
Michael Bradshaw (Ph.D., 2020)
Epidemiology and biology of powdery mildews and their
Ryan Garrison (M.S., 2020).
Optimizing management guidelines for the non-native
azalea lace bug on Rhododendron species in
Jacob Betzen (M.S., 2018).
Bigleaf maple decline in western Washington.
Sean Callahan (M.S., 2017).
Effects of traffic-derived Cu pollution and climate
change on arboreal Collembola in Western Washington,
Michael Freeman (M.S., 2017).
The role of abiotic and biotic factors in Douglas-fir
decline in the western Cascades, Washington.
Riley Metz (M.S., 2017).
Effects of temperature and host distribution on gypsy
moth growth rates along its expanding population front.
Marisa Bass (M.F.R., 2016).
Comprehensive five-year harvest and transportation plan
for Hancock Forest Management's Tahoma Client.
Lab Alumni: Undergraduate Students
Adara Schneider (Senior Thesis,
2020). Biology and ecology of invasive insects on
Morgan Mackenzie (Senior Thesis,
predators and natural enemies in the Union Bay
Natural Area, and their changes along the
native-nonnative plant community gradient.
Marisa De Lucia (Senior Thesis,
2019). Quantifying the effectiveness of chemical treatment on
Lysimachia vulgaris in
King County, WA.
Sabrina Gilmour (Senior Thesis,
2019). Effects of increased temperatures
and CO2 on powdery mildew virulence and
Helen Kesting (Senior
Thesis, 2019). Effect of land cover on pollen
provisions of the native solitary bee, Osmia
Kaisja Gifford (Senior
Thesis, 2017). Apples and moths: Phenological
asynchrony of plants and insects as a result of climate
Ceci Henderson (Senior
Thesis, 2017). The grapes of wrath: Invasion
potential of Lobesia botrana (European grapevine
moth) in Washington State vineyards under varying
climate change scenarios.
Masaoka (Senior Capstone Project, 2017).
Investigation of the western sword fern disappearance in
Constance Lin (Senior Capstone
Project 2016). Microarthropod species richness and
abundance in epiphytic communities along an urban to
wildland gradient in Western Washington.
Rachel DeCordoba (Senior Thesis,
2016). Spatial and climate analysis of bigleaf
maple decline in Western Washington.
Alex Blumenfeld (Senior Capstone
Project 2016). Modelling the drivers of invasion
in North American non-native insects.
Kaitlin Stair (Senior
Capstone Project, 2015). Consumptive and
non-consumptive effects of a generalist predator on
larval prey growth.