Our research in Kentucky is focused in understanding how fire suppression as well as other anthropogenic disturbances in KY have impacted bee communities. We are also interested in quantifying the bee communities of the various plant communities of KY including pine barrens, oak barrens, mountain ridges, etc.
One priority of our lab is to understand how mitigation and restoration strategies benefit or harm native bees and pollination services. For example, in Kentucky, some mitigation plans have included the planting of tree species such as sourwood, Oxydendrum arboretum, and basswood that may benefit honey bees. We are currently collecting pollen from bumblebee species in some of these restored areas to identify plant species that hold a core role in supporting interactions between bumblebees and plants.