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Silas Bossert

Research 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



  • 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