Home - Jason Gibbs, Assistant Professor and Curator, Wallis/Roughley Museum of Entomology
This site is focused on my research studying the diversity and evolution of wild bees. I am an assistant professor the University of Manitoba, Department of Entomology. I am also the Curator of the J. B. Wallis / R. E. Roughley Museum of Entomology, affectionately abbreviated WRME ("worm-ee"). This site currently includes summaries of my research and publications.
My research Interests include:
- Diversity of wild pollinators
- Molecular phylogenetics
- Integrative taxonomy
- Behaviour and social evolution
- Pollinator ecology
- Native bee conservation
Above: Two Lasioglossum gotham, a recently described species, congregate at a nesting site in East Lansing, Michigan. The nesting biology of this species was described under the name L. laevissimum.
Taxonomic impediments remain a serious issue of our understanding of bee diversity and pollinator conservation. Many genera remain challenging to identify. I use integrative approaches to delimit species and resolve taxonomic problems. My work has been primarily in halictid bees, but I am also interested in other taxa.
Above A honey bee, Apis mellifera, dwarfs another social bee, Lasioglossum imitatum, on an onion flower in Ithaca, New York. Lasioglossum imitatum nests in underground burrows with a queen and dozens of workers.
Social behaviour has evolved multiple times in the Hymenoptera. Halictid bees, such as Lasioglossum, evolved social complexity more recently than most other social insects. As a result they still retain a high level of behavioural variation within and among species. This makes them ideal models for studying social evolution. I am interested in using phylogenetic methods and studies of nesting biology to better understand the complex behaviours of halictid bees.
Above: Cover of the pocket guide to the bees of the Great Lakes region. A pair of Lasioglossum vierecki are shown visiting milkweed.
Bees are the most important pollinators of agricultural crops and wildflowers. I am interested in developing strategies for increasing and maintaining bee diversity in human managed landscapes.