CIBER consists of several different research groups, that are each led by a faculty member housed at the University of California, Riverside. We conduct collaborative and cross disciplinary research into bee health. Our activities connect landscape-level processes with organismal-level interactions and molecular mechanisms to develop tools to identify, quantify, and manage threats to bees and their pollination services. Our goal is to halt and reverse nationwide declines in bee populations to ensure food security and agricultural sustainability.


Principal Investigators:

Boris Baer

Name: Prof. Boris Baer (SEE CV)
Research: We identify molecules linked to bee health and study their functioning, which allows us to understand complicated biological processes such as for example the complex interactions between bees and their parasites. We are  also conducting field research to unravel how environmental stress impacts health related proteomes or trigger colony collapses. Our research on the reproductive biology of bees looks for opportunities to identify and breed bees that are better able to cope with environmental stress.
Expertise: Sociobiology, Evolutionary biology, Sexual selection, Proteomics
Publications: Website, Google Scholar, ResearcherID, ORCID
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Lab Website: click here

Erin Wilson Rankin

Name: Prof. Erin Wilson-Rankin (see CV)
Research: We study honeybees in a food web context. Our current projects examine factors underlaying bee predation by wasps, ants and birds, and investigate how predation may influence pathogen transmission at higher tropical levels.
Expertise: Invasion Biology, Community Ecology, Trophic Ecology
Publications: Website, ORCID, ResearchID
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Lab Website: click here



Winn McFrederik cropped

Name: Prof. Quinn McFrederick (see CV)
Research: We seek to contribute to bee health and conservation via the study of symbiosis. In other words, we study the beneficial and detrimental organisms that are found in close association with bees, for example in their guts in order to learn how we can use these symbionts to improve bee health. We combine experimentation, field surveys, multi-"omics" approaches, and microbiology.
Expertise: Bee Biology, Microbiology, Bioinformatics, Experimentation, Gut Microbiomes
Publications: Website, Google Scholar, PubMed
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Lab Website: click here

Houston Wilson

Name: Dr. Houston Wilson
Research: As an Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist, I’m particularly interested in the development of biocontrol strategies with an emphasis on plant-insect interactions, landscape ecology, insect movement, and regional population dynamics. To do this, I  conduct research to reduce the impacts of insect and mite pests on tree nuts and stone fruit. My approach is rooted in the fundamentals of agricultural ecology and integrated pest management (IPM).

Expertise: Agricultural entomology, biological control, landscape ecology, extension education
Publications:  Website
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Lab Website: click here

Kerry Mack Profile

Name: Prof. Kerry Mauck
Research: My lab studies the behavioral and chemical ecology of parasite transmission by plant-associated insects. We are interested in learning how plant traits influence the acquisition and inoculation of parasitic and non-parasitic microbes by pollinators and other insects, and the implications of these interactions for pollinator health. In the long-term, we can apply this knowledge to minimize disease spread and maximize nutritional benefits of pollinator resources. We are also interested in testing and implementing biorational pest control options that leverage plant immunity to control pests and minimize pollinator exposure to detrimental chemicals.
Expertise: Plant-Pollinator Chemical Ecology, Insect Behaviour, Virology, Host-Plant Resistance, Metabolomics
Publications: Google Scholar
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Lab Website: click here

Nicole Rafferty 3

Name: Prof. Nicole Rafferty (see CV)
Research: We study community and population ecology, with a focus on pollinators and plants. In particular we are interested in how plant-pollinator interactions are affected by shifts in flowering time. We combine greenhouse and field experiments with long-term and historical data to understand how interactions will be affected by climate change
Expertise: pollination ecology, community ecology, phenology, climate change 
Publications: Google Scholar, Website
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Lab Website: click here

Jessica Purcell Portrait

Name: Prof. Jessica Purcell (see CV)
Research: We are interested in understanding why social lifestyles evolve and persist in some organisms. To do this, we study the advantages and disadvantages of sociality in a variety of insects, including ants, bees, and wasps, and also in spiders! One approach that we use is to identify and study genes that shape different social behaviors. We also conduct experiments in the field and in the lab to investigate specific advantages of cooperation, including social immunity, task allocation, and collective response to emergencies.
Expertise: Social Immunity, Population Genetics, Social Evolution
Publications: Website, Google ScholarORCID
Contact me:
Lab Website: click here