CAHNRS – Department of Entomology

APIS Molecular Systematics Laboratory


Natalie Boyle received her Masters Degree from WSU in the spring of 2012. She is going on to complete her PhD here as well. Natalie has been interested in honey bees since grade school, and after receiving her B.S. in Biology at Western Washington University, her graduate research focused on colony-level effects of pesticide residue exposure.
Kristen Northfield managed the WSU Honey Bee Diagnostic Laboratory while here in Pullman. She received and processed samples from beekeepers, WSU research apiaries, and collaborating apicultural researchers.
Beth Kahkonen was the Apiary and Laboratory Manager. Beth hails from Pennsylvania and originally joined the Pullman crowd to continue her white-water rafting guide business. Beth received a M.Sc. in Entomology from WSU for research on the use of botanical ils to control parasitic honey bee mites. Prior to her acclaimed return to Pullman in 2008, Beth’s interim journey included positions in apicultural and medical research laboratories. Beth is an active motorcyclist and rock climber in her spare time.
Matthew Smart found that a personal interest in astronomy and extra-terrestrial life led him the clear skies of Eastern Washington. Matthew’s graduate research centered  on honey bee colony health, epidemiology and molecular characterization of a recently described Nosema pathogen. In addition to conducting extensive fieldwork in WSU’s historical “Feedmill Apiary”, Matthew assisted the WSU diagnostic laboratory with molecular identification of the Nosema species.
Judy Wu was a masters student who is interested in honey bee colony health and the potential effects of in-hive and environmental chemical residue exposure. Her M.Sc. research included life-table and behavioral studies of bees exposed to sub-lethal pesticide levels.
Dr. Devrim Oskay was a Research Associate at WSU for nearly two years. Devrim worked on a USDA-SARE funded program to propagate, test, and distribute selected honey bee germplasm to beekeepers in the PNW. He was also involved in a coordinated program between WSU and UC-Davis to enhance US honey bee diversity. Devrim received his PhD from the University of Puerto Rico for his work on honey bee behavior and genetics. He has recently accepted a position back in his home country of Turkey.
Sam Hapke – Received his MS degree at WSU and is currently working with the Sustainable Prisons Project through Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.
Debbie Delaney was a PhD student who left the Oregon coastal range for the astounding rock-hounding opportunities to be found in the loess soil of the Palouse. Deb conducted MSc research at Oregon State University on aspects of sperm production in honey bee drones. She continued to work in the area of honey bee reproduction in her PhD research project on genetic differentiation and micro-evolution in honey bees. Dr. Delaney recently accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Entomology at the University of Delaware.
Ben Horwath
Dr. Marina Meixner is a Research Associate from Frankfurt, Germany who sees Pullman as a cultural mecca. Her Ph.D. research was conducted at the Institut fur Bienenkunde in Oberursel, Germany. Research interests and experience include intraspecific taxonomy of the honey bees, investigation of introgression among endemic subspecies, design and application of computer-assisted morphological analysis and the study of introduced populations of the Mediterranean Fruit Fly. Her current work includes selection and breeding honey bees as part of a IPM program for parasitic mite management. Dr. Meixner can be reached by email:
Jamie Strange was a PhD student who came to Pullman from the sprawling city of Prosser, WA and found the Pullman traffic to be annoying. In his spare time he is often seen crashing his mountain bike, scaring wild game (but rarely causing them harm), changing road signs to metric and developing a vast network of high speed passenger trains. Jamie received his B.S. from Penn State and a M.Sc. from WSU for research on alternative methods of Varroa mite control in honey bee colonies. His Ph.D. research centered on understanding the ecological genetics of an endemic “ecotype” of honey bee in southwestern France, including an investigation of genetic introgression via drone congregation areas. Jamie can be reached by
Marco Costa – Marco was a Ph.D. student from the Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos, SP Brasil who arrived in Pullman to enjoy the seaside vistas. Marco’s research was primarily directed toward understanding the systematics of the subfamily Meliponinae. Marco returned to Brasil and received his PhD in 1998. Dr. Costa can be reached by email:
Sally Hasher is a research technician who left Lewiston, Idaho to find solitude in the rolling hills surrounding Pullman and to see for herself the special quality of light that bathes the Palouse. In addition to myriad duties pertaining to the totality of the Apiary Program at WSU, Sally finds time for motorcycle riding and ice fishing.
Melissa Gardner – Melissa was a M.Sc. student who moved to Pullman due, in part, to the offerings of the local opera company. Melissa’s research was on simultaneous selection of multiple traits in honey bees and some of her selected honey bee stocks have been incorporated into the continuing WSU bee breeding program. Melissa received her M.Sc. degree from WSU in 2002.
Dr. Veronique Garnery was a postdoctoral researcher who left Paris to enjoy the almost limitless variety of jazz and blues clubs of eastern Washington. Her research interests are in the field of population genetics and her work at WSU involved study of population structure in A. m. lamarckii, the Egyptian honey bee. These bees are maintained in apiaries of 1000 colonies or more in mud tube hives and represent a possible distinct lineage within the species.
Dr. Lionel Garnery was a visiting professor from Versailles University and left France for the culinary challenges extant in eastern Washington. Lionel’s research includes the phylogeography of honey bee subspecies, the evolution of the genus Apis and the evolution of mitochondrial DNA within the Apoidea. He has developed some interest in Washington state wines and in winter can be seen on nearby downhill ski slopes demonstrating the French flying stop. Lionel can be contacted at
Dr. Irfan Kandemir – Irfan was a Ph.D. student from the Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey who came to Pullman for the incredible birding opportunities. Irfan has returned to Turkey as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology Zonguldak Karaelmas University, Incivez Zonguldak 67100, Turkey, and is currently at Zonguldak Karaelmas University about 165 miles east of Istanbul on the shores of the Black Sea. Irfan remains interested in areas of natural introgression between honey bee subspecies and uses both morphological and molecular data to assess the complex interactions among Eastern Mediterranean honey bees. Dr. Kandemir will be returning to WSU in 2010 under a Fulbright Scholarship – in the meantime he can be reached by email:
APIS Molecular Systematics Laboratory, Washington State University; Dr. Steve Sheppard, Contact Us
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