CAHNRS – Department of Entomology

APIS Molecular Systematics Laboratory


steve123Dr. Steve Sheppard – Professor & Department Chair, Entomology

Dr. Sheppard received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His research interests include evolution of the Apinae, the genetics of colonization and origins and diversification of honey bee subspecies. Current projects include molecular systematics of Apis, biogeography of Old World honey bees, and genetic analysis of introduced (New World) honey bee populations. Related collaborative projects involve the study of populations structure and source populations in introduced or host-shifted pest insects. Email Dr. Sheppard at shepp@wsu.edumore about Dr. Sheppard


Brandon Hopkins – Apis Molecular Systems Manager

Brandon Hopkins grew up in Washington State receiving his B.A.E and Masters degree at Eastern Washington University.  He didn’t start working with bees until he started his Ph.D. program at Washington State University.  However, working with honey bees quickly became a passion and has found the pursuit of honey bee research to be fascinating.  He finished his Ph.D. in the spring of 2014 and currently manages the apiary and germplasm cryopreservation project at WSU.
Advisor: Walter S. Sheppard  Email:  Interest: Apiculture
Education: B.S. Education, Eastern Washington University, Cheney, 2005; M.S. Biology, Eastern Washington University, Cheney, 2008; Ph.D. Entomology, Washington State University, Pullman, 2014

Megan Taylor – Ph.D.

Advisor: Walter S. Sheppard
: Honey bee reproduction and genetic diversity
: Genetic diversity of Old and New World honey bees
Education: B.S. Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada;
M.S. University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada; Ph.D. Entomology, Washington State University, Pullman, 2016


Megan Asche – M.S. Student

Advisor: Walter S. Sheppard
: Pollination ecology, genetics, and macro insect photography.
Education: B.A. Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA




Susan Cobey – Research Associate

Susan Cobey joined the WSU Honey Bee Lab team in 2012 with a 50% appointment. Her focus is enhancement of honey bee stocks and improvement of colony health through breeding and incorporation of germplasm, collected from superior stocks around the world, into domestic breeding programs. She provides information in presentations, publications and instructional material for both scientific and public audiences, worldwide to promote honey bee stock improvement.

An acknowledged international authority in the field of honey bee breeding and instrumental insemination, with over 34 years of experience in establishing and managing a closed population breeding program. Her experience includes management of Honey Bee Research Laboratories at the Ohio University State and the University of California, Davis, providing honey bee stock and assisting faculty, post-doctoral researchers, graduate and undergraduate students in honey bee research.
Superviser: Walter S. Sheppard  Email:
Honey bees, Instrumental Insemination, Breeding, Germplasm Preservation
Education: BSc Entomology, Commercial Beekeeping.


WSUbeeBeardDr. Timothy Lawrence joined the WSU Honey Bee Health Program as an Extension Research Associate. He holds a doctorate in Environmental Sciences from Ohio State University, and has more than 20 years of commercial beekeeping experience. He co-owns a business with his spouse, Susan Cobey – Honey Been Insemination Service. He focused on implementation of the effective strategies in the improvement of honey bee health – including, but not limited to stock improvement, diseases, and mite control from an ecosystem perspective. He has also created over 100 bee beards (and several bee bikinis).Timothy is currently the WSU Extension Island County Director.



Erin O’Rourke – Honey Bee Diagnostic Lab Technician/Manager
Erin has worked at the diagnostic lab for seven years. She enjoys communicating with beekeepers and making their data relevant. She splits her time between the bees and the WSU Urban IPM and Pesticide Education Program.
Supervisor: Brandon Hopkins Email:
: Local food and farming networks.
Education: B.A. William Smith College, Geneva, NY

APIS Molecular Systematics Laboratory, Washington State University; Dr. Steve Sheppard, Contact Us
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