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 & Lab manager

Project description:

I am interested in social insect reproduction and immunity and responsible for running the CIBER honeybee lab. I have also worked on the realisation of the movie "More than Honey" and I am currently running the More than Honey Blog.

Expertise:

Sperm viability,Immunity,Parasitism

Publications:

Click here

Contact me:

barbara.baer[at]uwa.edu.au

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

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

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 the honeybee immune system operates 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 proteins between individuals or colonies translates into differences in parasite resistance.

Expertise:

Proteomics, Immunopeptides, Evolutionary Biology,

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

Marianne Peso

Name:

Marianne Peso

Function:

Postdoctoral Fellow

Project description:

I study how external stressors such as pesticides or different parasites affect the health of honeybee colonies and whether they could eventually lead to colony collapse. To do this, I expose honeybees to different stressors and measure their effects on colony health and performance. I am also interested to see how colonies respond when they are confronted with multiple stressors at the same time.

Expertise:

Pesticides, Colony Collapse, Immunity, Field Work

Publications:

Click here

Contact me:

marianne.peso[at]uwa.edu.au

Mat Welch

Name:

Mat Welch

Function:

SIEF Fellow

Project description:

Epigenetic modifications can underpin the temporal and spatial interpretation of complex genomes to produce different phenotypes. In the honeybee (Apis mellifera), fertilised eggs develop into either workers or queens. Recent findings suggest that DNA methylation may play a role in the selection between worker and queen developmental trajectories. I am using next generation sequencing (NGS) to examine changes in the epigenome that occur throughout honeybee development and caste selection.

Expertise:

Molecular Biology, Epigenetics, Next generation sequencing

Publications:

Click here

Contact me:

Mat.welch[at]uwa.edu.au

Ellen Paynter

Name:

Ellen Paynter

Function:

PhD student

Project description:

I am investigating the metabolic functions and respiratory capacity of honeybee sperm to understand the cellular energetics underpinning sperm survival, competition and storage.

Expertise:

Micro-respiratory measurements, Proteomics, Metabolite analysis, Flow cytometry

Publications:

Click here

Contact me:

paynte01[at]student.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

Christoph Kurze

Name:

Christoph Kurze

Function:

DAAD Fellow

Project description:

I am interested to unravel the molecular basis that underpins an evolutionary dynamics such as host-parasite interactions. I use honeybees and one of their most widespread diseases, the fungal pathogen Nosema, to unravel, how the functioning of genes and proteins can result in diseases tolerance.

Expertise:

Host-parasite interactions, Animal energetics, Behaviour

Publications:

Click here

Contact me:

christoph.kurze@zoologie.uni-halle.de

Personal Website:

Click here

Alastair Boyd

Name:

Alastair Boyd

Function:

PhD Student

Project description:

I am interested in the identification and characterisation of an iron based magnetoreceptors in higher animals in an effort to understand homing behaviour. Using the honeybee as a model system, I will use a low to high resolution approach, using techniques such as ICP-AES iron analysis, SQUID magnetometry, magnetic resonance imaging, light microscopy, confocal microscopy and electron microscopy in order to locate cells potentially responsible for the detection of the Earth’s magnetic field. My work is done in collaboration with Jeremy Shaw

Expertise:

Biomineralisation, Magnetoreception, Electron microscopy, Cryo preparation

Contact me:

boyda01[at]student.uwa.edu.au

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

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

Briony Jones

Name:

Briony Jones

Function:

Honours student

Project description:

I am interested to find novel and innovative ways to control honeybee diseases. To do this I investigate whether the use of nano-sized thymol for the treatment of the gut pathogen Nosema apis is more effective compared to untreated regular thymol. I will feed Nosema spores to bees, and then provide different treatments and measure how efficiently tehy can control bee health.

Expertise:

Bee diseases, Conservation Biology, Nanotechnology

Contact me:

21141071@student.uwa.edu.au

Madlen Kratz

Name:

Madlen Kratz

Function:

Honours student

Project description:

I study the molecular basis of sexual selection in honeybees and leaf cutter ants. To do this I test how the activity of different molecules detected in the seminal fluid impact the function of sperm. To do this I also develop a technique that allows me to observe and measure sperm swimming speed in ants and bees.

Expertise:

Proteomics, CASA, Sperm viability, Postcopulatory sexual selection

Contact me:

20917495@student.uwa.edu.au

Naomi Cremen

Name:

Naomi Cremen

Function:

Honours student

Project description:

I investigate the question whether agricultural pesticides honeybees are exposed to while foraging have a sublethal effect on their immune system and whether such they impact the workers ability to fight off diseases.

Expertise:

Host Parasit Interactions, Field work, Flow cytometry

Contact me:

20924238@student.uwa.edu.au

Ciara Duffy

Name:

Ciara Duffy

Function:

Honours 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@student.uwa.edu.au

Claire Beckett

Name:

Claire Beckett

Function:

Honours student

Project description:

I am interested to find out whether microsatellites can be used to differentiate between different termite colonies, which is difficult in the field as termites can have multiple mounts that can sometimes be hundreds of meters apart. Furthermore, I also develop and use behavioural agression tests to see whether low relatedness between individuals increases the aggressiveness against each other.

Expertise:

Behavioural Ecology, Zoology, Ethology

Contact me:

20359075@student.uwa.edu.au

Shannon Holt

Name:

Shannon Holt

Function:

Honours student

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@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@anu.edu.au

Jessica Moran

Name:

Jessica Moran

Function:

Honours Student

Project description:

My research investigates how pesticides and parasites affect honeybee health solely or in combination and how may lead to colony collapse. To do this I investigate sublethal effects of pesticides on honeybee immunity and behaviour. Furthermore, I investigate whether pesticide induced stress result in epigenetic changes, using genomoic and proteomics approaches in field and lab based experiments.

Expertise:

Conservation Biology, Zoology, Pesticides, Field Work

Contact me:

21112258[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 Briony Jones 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

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