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Silas Bossert

Assistant Professor



I am an evolutionary biologist specialized in the biology of native bees. I approach bee evolution through a phylogenetic lens: using phylogenies, I study traits and behavior of bees, their pollen usage and patterns of phylogenetic conservatism. I use phylogenomic methods, fossil-based divergence times estimates, diversification analyses, and historical biogeography. My research emphasizes bee taxonomy and I describe previously unknown bees!



Ph.D. Cornell University, NY, Entomology, August 2020
M.S. University of Vienna, Austria, Zoology, July 2014
B.S. University of Constance, Germany, Biological Sciences, June 2011



  • Waldren, G., E. A. Sadler, E. A. Murray, S. Bossert, B. N. Danforth, J. Pitts (2023) Phylogenomic inference of the higher classification of Velvet Ants (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae). Systematic Entomology 48(3): 463-487. doi: 10.1111/syen.12588. [PDF]
  • Orr, M. C., A. Feijó, D. Chesters, A. P. Vogler, S. Bossert, …, C.-D. Zhu (2022) Six steps for building a technological and knowledge base for future taxonomic work. National Science Review 9(12): 1–3. doi: [PDF]
  • Curtiss R.T., A. Skoda, S. Bossert, R. K. Orpet (2022) First Record and Long-Term Establishment of the Order Embioptera in Washington State. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 124: 195–201. doi: 10.4289/0013-8797.124.2.195. [PDF]
  • Bossert S., T. J. Wood, S. Patiny, D. Michez, E. A. B. Almeida, R. L. Minckley, L. Packer, J. L. Neff, R. S. Copeland, J. Straka, A. Pauly, T. Griswold, S. G. Brady, B. N. Danforth and E. A. Murray (2022) Phylogeny, biogeography and diversification of the mining bee family Andrenidae. Systematic Entomology 47(2):283–302. . [PDF]
  • Bossert, S., J. Neff (2022) Seven replacement names for bees in the genus Protandrena Cockerell, 1896 (Hymenoptera, Andrenidae, Panurginae). Pan-Pacific Entomologist 98(3): 226–229. doi: 10.3956/2022-98.3.226. [PDF]
  • Wood, T. J., S. Patiny, S. Bossert (2022) A global phylogeny of Panurginae (Hymenoptera: Andrenidae: Panurginae) leads to the discovery of an unexpected new genus in Europe. Journal of Hymenoptera Research 89: 183–210. doi: 10.3897/jhr.89.72083. [LINK]
  • Bossert S., and S. van Noort (2022) A group of two: Scrapter peringueyi is not a synonym of Scrapter heterodoxus (Hymenoptera, Colletidae, Scraptrinae). African Invertebrates 63:1-18. [LINK]
  • Sless, T. J. L., M. G. Branstetter, J. P. Gillung, E. A. Krichilsky, K. B. Tobin, J. Straka, J. G. Rozen, F. V. Freitas, A. C. Martins, S. Bossert, J. B. Searle and B. N. Danforth (2022) Phylogenetic relationships and the evolution of host preferences in the largest clade of brood parasitic bees (Apidae: Nomadinae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 166: 107326. [PDF]
  • Murray, E. A., L. Evanhoe, S. Bossert, M. A. Geber, T. Griswold, S. M. McCoshum (2021) Phylogeny, Phenology, and Foraging Breadth of Ashmeadiella (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). Insect Systematics & Diversity 5(3): 1-29. doi: 10.1093/isd/ixab010
  • Bossert, S., E. A. Murray, A. Pauly, K. Chernyshov, S. G. Brady, and B. N. Danforth (2021) Gene tree estimation error with ultraconserved elements: An empirical study on Pseudapis bees. Systematic Biology 70(4):803-821. doi: 10.1093/sysbio/syaa097
  • Bossert, S., R. S. Copeland, T. J. L. Sless, M. G. Branstetter, J. P. Gillung, S. G. Brady, B. N. Danforth, J. Policarová, and J. Straka (2020) Phylogenomic and Morphological Reevaluation of the Bee Tribes Biastini, Neolarrini, and Townsendiellini (Hymenoptera: Apidae) With Description of Three New Species of Schwarzia. Insect Systematics & Diversity 4(6): 1-29. doi: 10.1093/isd/ixaa013
  • Bossert, S. (2020) The Female of Maculonomia tigeri Pauly (Hymenoptera: Halictidae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 122: 506-510, 505. doi: 10.4289/0013-8797.122.2.506.
  • Bossert S. (2019) Monotypic no more — a new species of the unusual genus Schwarzia (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Biastini). Journal of Hymenoptera Research 69: 23-37. doi: 10.3897/jhr.69.32966.
  • Bossert S. & A. Pauly (2019) Two new species of Pseudapis Kirby, 1900 (Hymenoptera: Halictidae: Nomiinae) from Africa. Zootaxa 4608 (3): 517-530. doi: 10.11646/zootaxa.4608.3.6.
  • Bossert S., Murray E. A., Almeida E. A. B., Brady S. G., Blaimer B. B. & B. N. Danforth (2019) Combining transcriptomes and ultraconserved elements to illuminate the phylogeny of Apidae. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 130:121-131. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2018.10.012.
  • Murray E. A.*, Bossert S.* & B. N. Danforth (2018) Pollinivory and the diversification dynamics of bees. Biology Letters 20180530. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2018.0530. *equal contributions
  • Bossert, S. & B. N. Danforth (2018) On the universality of target‐enrichment baits for phylogenomic research. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 00:1-8. doi: 10.1111/2041-210X.12988.
  • Bossert, S., Murray E. A., Blaimer B. B. & B. N. Danforth (2017) The impact of GC bias on phylogenetic accuracy using targeted enrichment phylogenomic data. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 111:149-157. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2017.03.022.
  • Bossert, S. & Patiny, S. (2017) Description of the previously unknown male of Systropha (Austrosystropha) macronasuta (Hymenoptera: Halictidae: Rophitinae) from Kenya. Journal of Melittology, 6:1-9. doi: 10.17161/jom.v0i67.5929.
  • Bossert, S. (2017) Description of the female of Clavinomia clavicornis (Warncke, 1980) (Halictidae: Nomiinae), with the species’ taxonomy and first record from the Arabian Peninsula. Pan-Pacific Entomologist 93(1):29-34. doi: 10.3956/2017-93.1.29.
  • Bossert, S., B.-A. Gereben-Krenn, J. Neumayer, Schneller, B. & H. W. Krenn (2016) The Cryptic Bombus lucorum Complex (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in Austria: Phylogeny, Distribution, Habitat Usage and a Climatic Characterization Based on COI Sequence Data. Zoological Science 55(13):1-15. doi: 10.6620/ZS.2016.55-13.
  • Bossert, S. (2015) Recognition and identification of bumblebee species in the Bombus lucorum-complex (Hymenoptera, Apidae) – A review and outlook. Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift 62: 19-28. doi: 10.3897/dez.62.9000.
  • Bossert, S. (2014) The high alpine bee fauna (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) of the Zillertal Alps, Austria. Biodiversity Data Journal 2, e1115. doi: 10.3897/BDJ.2.e1115.
  • Bossert, S. (2014) Shelter usage by males of Hylaeus nivalis (Morawitz 1867) and notes on flower records. Linzer biologische Beiträge 46(1): 659-663.
  • Bossert, S. & B. Schneller (2014) First records of Bombus haematurus and Nomada moeschleri (Hymenoptera, Apidae) for the state of Vienna (Austria). Beiträge zur Entomofaunistik 15: 95-100.

Department of Entomology
Washington State University
Pullman, WA 99164-6382