Who we are...
The Consortium for Bee Ecology Evolution and Conservation is currently comprised of five PIs and their research teams, encompassing multiple faculties and departments at York University. Through diverse approaches, BEEc researchers investigate a variety of topics relating to managed and wild pollinators, with special emphasis on bees (>850 species in Canada and >20,400 globally).
Why we are...
Bees provide indispensable pollination services through their essential role in agricultural crop pollination and in sustaining natural ecosystems worldwide. Declines in diversity, health and populations of wild and managed bees have been documented over the past decade, such that scientists and the general public alike are concerned about the sustainability of their populations and conservation. The causes of these declines are variable, complex and context-dependent and exist in socio-ecological systems. In response, BEEc and its affiliates plan to tackle some of the factors negatively impacting bee populations using tools from a variety of disciplines. Along with partnering organizations like Wildlife Preservation Canada, the W. Garfield Weston Foundation, and the Xerces Society of Invertebrate Conservation the BEEc hopes to expand the knowledge and understanding behind the determining factors for bee declines and utilize our interdisciplinary efficacy to try and overcome these issues.
What we do...
The research team at BEEc is using cutting-edge tools to broaden knowledge in the fields of bee biology, ecology, and conservation. The aim is to provide beekeepers, scientists, government agencies, and the public with the necessary information regarding the status of wild and managed bees for making recommendations for sustainability of our agricultural and natural ecosystems. The executive research team includes:
Amro Zayed, PI, Director
York University’s Research Chair in Genomics
Associate Professor, Biology Department, Faculty of Science
Sheila Colla, PI, Associate Director
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Environmental & Urban Change
Laurence Packer, PI, BEEc founding member
Distinguished Research Professor, Biology Department, Faculty of Science
Sandra Rehan, PI
Assistant Professor, Biology Department, Faculty of Science
Jane Heffernan, PI
Director of the Centre for Disease Modelling (CDM)
Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics & Statistics, Faculty of Science
The collaborative member research team:
- Aijun An, Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, York University
- Jason Gibbs, Assistant Professor, University of Manitoba; Curator, J.B. Wallis-RE Roughley Museum of Entomology
- Robert Hanner, Associate Professor, University of Guelph
- Clement Kent, Adjunct Professor, Department of Biology, York University
- Scott MacIvor, Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Toronto Scarborough; Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto St. George
- Roderick MacRae, Associate Professor, Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change, York University
- Jenny McCune, Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences & Graduate Studies, University of Lethbridge
- Lisa Myers, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change, York University
- Joel Ong, Director, Sensorium; Assistant Professor, Computational Arts, York University
- Sarah Rotz, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change, York University
- Jessica Vickruck, Research Scientist, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Where we are involved
In addition to scientific research and field work, the centre provides educational programs and outreach events on a variety of topics: pollinator-friendly gardening practices, bee identification workshops, species at risk monitoring events, citizen science applications, Bioblitz events, and many more! Most of these events are free and easily accessible to those interested.
As much as we remain active in the local community, we pride ourselves in global collaboration and innovation across borders. Members of BEEc have welcomed students and scientists from over 15 countries in the last 10 years - opportunities to join us may be available. We are always looking to expand our skillset and are constantly welcoming new members with similar or related research interests.
Check out our bee resources page to find out more about bees!