CIBER Team Members

Details of former group members can be found here.

Boris Baer (Director)

Name:

Boris Baer (See CV)

Function:

CIBER Director

Board member:


RIRDC Honeybee Advisory Committee
Swiss Australian Academic Network
Future Bees Fund

Project description:

I am interested in the study of evolutionary processes such as sexual selection or immune response on the molecular/protein scale. To do this I use several social insects as model species and biochemical technologies such as proteomics.

Expertise:

Sociobiology, Evolutionary biology, Sexual selection, Proteomics

Publications:

Click here

Contact me:

 boris.baer[at]uwa.edu.au

Personal Website:

Click here

Tiffane Bates (Beeyard Manager)

Name:

Tiffane Bates

Function:

Beeyard manager

Project description:

I am interested in improving the interaction between science and honeybee related industries. My particular passion is in bee breeding and disease management. As apiary manager I am responsible for maintenance and breeding of our honeybee colonies to support the myriad experiments being undertaken by our team.

Expertise:

Honeybee breeding, Beekeeping, Artificial insemination, Queen and drone rearing, Varroa mite

Publications:

Click here

Contact me:

tiffbee[at]hotmail.com

Personal Website:

Click here

Barbara Baer-Imhoof

Name:

Barbara Baer-Imhoof

Function:

Outreach and Research Officer

Project description:

I study social insect reproduction and immunity and run the CIBER honeybee lab. I am also in the organizing committee of the annual Honey Festival in the Swan Valley, and organise the bee exhibition at the Royal Show. I organise screenings of the movie "More than Honey" and run the More than Honey Blog and the Facebook page of CIBER

Expertise:

Sperm viability,Immunity,Parasitism

Publications:

Click here

Contact me:

barbara.baer[at]uwa.edu.au

Paul Schmid-Hempel

Name:

Paul Schmid-Hempel (See CV)

Function:

UWA Visiting Professor

Project description:

My research interests focus on the coevolution and ecology of host-parasite interactions. In particular, I am interested to understand strategies of host defences and the dynamics of infectious diseases in social insects.

Expertise:

Behavioural ecology, Parasites, Ecological immunology, Bee parasites, Genomics

Publications:

Publications

Contact me:

paul.schmid-hempel[at]env.ethz.ch

Personal Website:

Click here

A. Harvey Millar

Name:

A. Harvey Millar

Function:

Researcher

Project description:

My research focuses on proteomics and the use of mass spectrometry to understand metabolic networks in a range of species. In CIBER I provide the background and experimental design for honeybee proteomic projects and work to increase our understanding of the molecular mechanisms that influence reproductive success and disease resistance.

Expertise:

Proteomics, Mass spectrometry, Functional genomics

Publications:

Publications

Contact me:

harvey.millar[at]uwa.edu.au

Personal Website:

Click here

Ernst Juerg Weber

Name:

Ernst Juerg Weber

Function:

Researcher

Project description:

I am an economist interested in the economics of beekeeping and the role of bees in plant pollination and food production. At CIBER I am supervising research projects that focuses on the link between evolution by natural selection and economic growth.

Expertise:

Macroeconomics, Financial Economics

Publications:

Publications

Contact me:

juerg.weber[at]uwa.edu.au

Personal Website:

Click here

Julia Grassl

Name:

Julia Grassl

Function:

Postdoctoral Researcher

Project description:

I analyse protein samples of honeybees and other social insects on protein gels and by using a variety of different mass spectrometers. I specialize in quantitative proteomics and mass spectrometry, and apply this to identify immunopeptides in the haemolymph and seminal fluid of honeybees.

Expertise:

Proteomics, Mass Spectrometry, Peptidomics, SDS PAGE gel, DIGE

Publications:

Click here

Contact me:

Julia.Grassel[at]uwa.edu.au

Ryan Dosselli

Name:

Ryan Dosselli

Function:

Postdoctoral Fellow

Project description:

I am interested to understand how immune and reproductive systems of social insects operate and interact on the molecular level. To do this I use proteomics as well as field-based experiments. I am specifically interested to understand how differences in immune-related and/or reproduction-related proteins between individuals or colonies translates into differences in their ability to reproduce and/or to resist to infections.

Expertise:

Proteomics, Immunopeptides, Evolutionary Biology, Sexual Selection

Publications:

Click here

Contact me:

ryan.dosselli[at]uwa.edu.au

Marck Norret

Name:

Marck Norret

Function:

Postdoctoral Fellow

Project description:

I am interested in the development of disease treatments for honeybees based on nano-sized drug formulations. Several drug candidates are being investigated as treatment for Nosema apis to test the potency of the drugs as well as the benefits of nano-formulation

Expertise:

Nanotechnology, Drug formulation, Drug nano-sizing and characterisation, Drug development

Publications:

Click here

Contact me:

marck.norret[at]uwa.edu.au

Jeremy Shaw

Name:

Jeremy Shaw

Function:

Postdoctoral Fellow

Project description:

I use the honeybee Apis mellifera as a model system to search for the cellular mechanisms that must underlie magnetorecpetion in bees, basically a type of biological GPS that allows bees to navigate short or long distances. To do this I use the latest available microscopic technologies available at the Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation and Analysis

Expertise:

Electron microscopy, X-ray microscopy, Histology

Publications:

Click here

Contact me:

jeremy.shaw[at]uwa.edu.au

Jinhui Zhou

Name:

Jinhui Zhou

Function:

Visiting Research Fellow, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences

Project description:

My research focuses on the qualification and quantification of xenobiotics and endogenous components in honeybees and their products using instruments such as LC-MS/MS, LC-HRMS and GC-MS. To do this, I extract small molecules from honeybees or their products and then quantify them which helps to evaluate their quality and safety, and to further our understanding of their physiological properties

Expertise:

Bee products, Metabolomics, Mass Spectrometry

Publications:

Click here

Contact me:

Jinhui.Zhou[at]uwa.edu.au

Jason Collins

Name:

Jason Collins

Function:

PhD Student

Project description:

I am interested whether Darwinian evolutionary dynamics in human populations played a role in the emergence of today's economic systems. To do this I use modelling approaches in combination with data available on human income, assets and fertility around the onset of industrialisation, when several human populations left the Malthusian trap.

Expertise:

Economics, Modelling, Mathusian trap, Population biology

Publications:

Click here

Contact me:

jason.collins@graduate.uwa.edu.au

Personal Website:

Click here

Ghislaine Small

Name:

Ghislaine Small

Function:

PhD Student

Project description:

I am interested in the identification of cellulose-degrading bacteria in termite guts. There is a great interest in this field currently due to its potential application in the production of cleaner, renewable sources of energy, such as biofuels.To do this, I culture the gut bacteria of two local termite species and use metagenomics to sequence the microbial population in the gut, in the hopes of finding novel cellulase genes.

Expertise:

Microbiology, Genetics, Sequencing, Metagenomics, Termites

Contact me:

20514681[at]student.uwa.edu.au

Kamalpreet Brar

Name:

Kamalpreet Brar

Function:

PhD Student

Project description:

I am interested to understand the intimate relationship between the honeybee immune system and one of the most widespread bee pathogens, Nosema apis. I investigate whether different genotypes of bees differ in their level of resistance against different strains of Nosema.

Contact me:

kamalpreet.brar[at]research.uwa.edu.au>

Expertise:

Host - parasite Interactions, Proteomics, Genomics, Flow cytometry

Publications:

Click here

Michael Bianco

Name:

Michael Bianco

Function:

PhD Student

Project description:

I am an artist, curator, and researcher. My research focuses on interspecies relationships, and considers the concepts of both the ‘host’ and the ‘parasite’ within the broader context of honeybees in relation to theories of hospitality and environmental sustainability.

Contact me:

michael.bianco[at]research.uwa.edu.au>

Personal Website:

Click here

Madlen Kratz

Name:

Madlen Kratz

Function:

PhD student

Project description:

I am interested in how environmental factors such as parasites, pesticides and nutrition affect the fertility of males and queens in honey bees and leaf cutter ants. My aim is to understand those molecules that determine sperm quality and sperm competitiveness or allow sperm to be stored for years to decades. To do this I am developing novel methods that allow me to observe and measure sperm swimming speed of social insect sperm.

Expertise:

Proteomics, CASA, Sperm viability, Postcopulatory sexual selection

Contact me:

20917495[at]student.uwa.edu.au

Naomi Cremen

Name:

Naomi Cremen

Function:

PhD student

Project description:

My goal is to breed honeybees with increased disease resistance. To do this, I am researching host-parasite interactions between honey bees in Western Australia and the widespread fungal pathogen Nosema apis. I investigate whether there are different Nosema apis strains and whether honey bees lineages vary in their tolerance to these pathogen strains.

Expertise:

Host Parasit Interactions, Field work, Flow cytometry

Contact me:

20924238[at]student.uwa.edu.au

Ciara Duffy

Name:

Ciara Duffy

Function:

PhD student

Project description:

I investigate the potential of bee venom as an anti-cancer agent. To do this, I extract venom from honey bee workers and then use purified samples to quantify their effect on breast cancer cell lines. The cellular response is measured in terms of venom potency and specificity. This project is conducted in collaboration with Pilar Blancafort and Killugudi Swaminatha Iyer.

Expertise:

Anatomy, Human Biology, Physiology

Contact me:

21115005[at]student.uwa.edu.au

Genesis Chong

Name:

Genesis Chong

Function:

Senacyt PhD student

Project description:

I am interested to find out how different stressors affecting honeybee colonies add up and whether a combination of them are capable to induce a phenomenon that is of the referred to as colony collapse diorder. I am specifically interested to find out whether there are early signs of colony collapse, which could be used in the future by beekeepers to manage the heath of their bees.

Expertise:

Host Parasite Interactions, Honeybee immunity, Bee breeding

Contact me:

gen.chong[at]hotmail.com

Joanito Liberti

Name:

Joanito Liberti

Function:

PhD student, Centre fro Social Evolution

Project description:

I am interested to identify and study those molecules that mediate post-copulatory sexual selection in fungus-growing ants and honeybees, for example proteins present in ejaculates that allow males to outcompete their rivals. As part of this I study whether honey bee drones manipulate honeybee queen physiology and behaviour after mating through molecular components in their seminal fluid that manipulate the queens brain.

Expertise:

Sexual selection, Comparative Protoemics, Transcriptomics, Sperm Competition,

Contact me:

joanito.liberti[at]bio.ku.dk

Shannon Holt

Name:

Shannon Holt

Function:

Future Bees Fellow

Project description:

I investigate how agricultural pesticides affect drone health and fertility when they have to deal with additional stressors such as disease at the same time. To test this I feed male bees pesticide contaminated pollen and also expose some of them to the fungal disease Nosema apis.

Expertise:

Behavioural Ecology, Zoology, Ethology

Contact me:

21099061[at]student.uwa.edu.au

Jessica Moran

Name:

Jessica Moran

Function:

Honours Student

Project description:

I develop a method for using flow cytometry to assess the viability of ‘dissected’ honeybee sperm (sperm collected through dissection of the accessory testes rather than ejaculation). The ability to rapidly and reliably quantify sperm viability will allow us to further study the honeybee’s evolution of sexual warfare through controlled sperm competition experiments. By providing the tools to study sperm incapacitation in greater detail, I aim to improve the viability of honeybee sperm used for artificial insemination and thus the success of breeding programs.

Expertise:

Conservation Biology, Zoology, Pesticides, Field Work

Contact me:

21112258[at]student.uwa.edu.au

Sarah Ryan

Name:

Sarah Ryan

Function:

Honours student

Project description:

My research project explores whether spores of the fungal honeybee disease Nosema apis survive exposure to immune proteins that are presentin the seminal fluid of honeybees. I am furthermore interested to see whether these surviving sores are still capable to infect healthy bees and whether spore survival differs between different strains of Nosema

Expertise:

Conservation biology, Ecology, Host-parasite interactions.

Contact me:

20772775[at]student.uwa.edu.au>

Davide Zanini

Name:

Davide Zanini

Function:

German Exchange Student

Project description:

I conduct field experiments to test whether male honeybees (drones) respond to Nosema apis infections by altering their mating activities.To do this I track drone flying behaviour using radio frequency identification tags that are glued to bees and compare the flying patterns between infected and non infected animals.

Expertise:

Behavioural Ecology, Host Parasite Interactions, RFID technology

Contact me:

davide.zanini.12[at]gmail.com

Genevieve Woods

Name:

Genevieve Woods

Function:

Honours student

Project description:

I am interested in finding novel and innovative ways to control honeybee diseases. To do this I am investigating the use of nanotechnology on a natural drug (thymol) against a honeybee gut pathogen, Nosema apis. The effects of the nano sized thymol on the number of pathogenic spores will be compared to that of regular thymol.

Expertise:

Bee diseases, Conservation Biology, Nanotechnology

Contact me:

gen.woods11[at]gmail.com

Brenda Evans

Name:

Brenda Evans

Function:

Honours student

Project description:

"My research project addresses the effect of a Nosema apis infection on the behaviour and fertility of drones by utilising radio frequency identification (RFID)tags to track drone flying behaviour. This project will investigate the behavioural strategies that drones may have adopted to prevent further spread of N. apis infection"

Expertise:

Bee diseases, Conservation Biology, Fertility

Contact me:

21471254[at]student.uwa.edu.au>

Lucy Porter

Name:

Lucy Porter

Function:

Honours student

Project description:

I am interested in determining whether we can define "Happy Bees" in scientific terms. To do this, I am studying different hive designs used by beekeepers (Langstroth and Warre hives) and comparing how colonies develop and perform in them over a year. Furthermore, I am looking into whether ecological stresses such as parasites differentially affect bees, depending on the type of hives they are kept in.

Expertise:

Hive management, Bee health and resilience

Contact me:

u4672919[at]anu.edu.au

Cameron Macpherson

Name:

Cameron Macpherson

Function:

Honours student

Project description:

My research aims to identify and characterise the cellular structures involved in honey bee magnetoreception. This involves the isolation and concentration of inorganic material extracted from honey bees in order to perform magnetic and microscopic analysis.

Expertise:

Microscopy, Morphology, Magneto Reception

Contact me:

20354841[at]student.uwa.edu.au

Melanie Fulcher

Name:

Melanie Fulcher

Function:

Honours student

Project description:

I am studying genotype genotype interactions between the European honeybee Apis mellifera and the fungal parasite Nosema apis. I am interested to quantify the response of male bees to different strains of Nosema spores and comparing those between individuals and colonies.

Expertise:

Host Parasite Iteraction, Flow Cytometry, Behavioural Ecology

Contact me:

21331955[at]student.uwa.edu.au

Sabrina Davies

Name:

Sabrina Davies

Function:

Research Student

Project description:

I have been given the opportunity to undertake a research placement with CIBER where I will work alongside Marck Norret and Genevieve Woods in their research on honeybee diseases. In doing so, I will be able to apply my studies in Biochemistry and Maths and be exposed to the theory and practice of research.

Expertise:

Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Mathematics

Contact me:

21489196[at]student.uwa.edu.au

Isabella Gillett

Name:

Research Student

Function:

Research Student

Project description:

I am interested in honey bee disease management and circumstances/diseases that relate to global honeybee population decline in particular. This interest has led me to assisting Marck Norret and Genevieve Woods in research relating to disease management.

Expertise:

Host Parasite Interactions, Bee diseases, Bee disease medication

Contact me:

21326847[at]student.uwa.edu.au

Devon Ward

Name:

Devon Ward

Function:

Graphical Designer

Project description:

My work is focused on public engagement with honeybees. I am also interested in alternative hive architecture and the aesthetics of urban beekeeping. As part of my work I design logos, posters and labels for the CIBER group. To see some of my work click here. My projects are run in collaboration with Symbiotica

Expertise:

Graphic Design, information design, illustration, photography, honeybee fieldwork

Contact me:

devon[at]devonwarddesign.com

Personal Website:


(Design Website)
(Personal Website)

John Davies

Name:

John Davies

Function:

Honeybee industry representative

Project description:

I coordinate the Western Australian Bee-breeding Program known as Better Bees that aims to maintain high quality bees for the Western Australian beekeeping industry. In an annual breeding program on Rottnest Island we ensure the successful continuation of our 24 lines of honey bees. Honeybees from these lineages are used for scientific experiments running at CIBER.

Expertise:

I am a commercial apiarist operating 800 honeybee colonies. I have 35 years of experience in bee breeding, industry knowledge and involvement

Contact me:

jcsbdavies[at]westnet.com.au

Susan Hauri-Downing

Name:

Susan Hauri-Downing

Function:

External Associate

Project description:

I am interested in combining the different perspectives of art and science. To do this, I explore interactions between humans and both native bees as well as feral honeybees, and study the ecological importance of that relationship as well as the places where such interactions occur.

Expertise:

Ecological art, Cross cultural and interspecies relationships

Contact me:

nasusdow[at]gmx.net

Personal Website:

(click here)

Markus Imhoof

Name:

Markus Imhoof

Function:

Movie Director

Project description:

I directed a documentary about honeybees with the title "More than Honey" The movie provides fascinating visual insights into the life of a honeybee colony. The movie is currently shown in movie theatres and at movie festivals around the world.

Expertise:

Screenplay, Dramaturgy, High speed and macro filming, Digital postproduction

Previous films:

Click here

Contact me:

mail[at]markus-imhoof.ch

Personal Website:

Click here

Collaborating Partners