Background

Feel free to contact me for opportunities in the lab.

jason.gibbs@umanitoba.ca

My background

I am extremely interested in understanding and documenting bee diversity. My interest in bees began when I was very young. My father is a commercial bee keeper so bees have always been an integral part of my life. Bees are an important part of my family history; my grandfather, uncle, and two cousins have all kept bees for honey production. I spend four summers working in my father's apiaries before beginning my academic career. As a scientist I have focused my attention on understanding species-level diversity of bees (see taxonomy), their relationships and social evolution (see phylogenetics), and spatial and temporal patterns of bees and their role as pollinators of agricultural crops (see diversity). Bees are fascinating creatures, and it is a pleasure to study them.

I received my PhD from York University (Toronto, Canada) studying the taxonomy of the most challenging bees in North America (Lasioglossum subgenus Dialictus) under the supervision of Dr. Laurence Packer. I worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Cornell University (Ithaca, New York) with Dr. Bryan Danforth. My research spanned a number of projects, including halictid bee phylogeny and social evolution, specimen databasing and curation of the Cornell University Insect Collection, and surveying pollinators in New York State apple orchards. For the sheer pleasure I also surveyed bees in the local area. Following that I was a Research Associate at Michigan State University working with Dr. Rufus Isaacs on the USDA-SCRI funded Project ICP. The goal of this research is to better understand the pollination of specialty crops, while encouraging integrated management practices that support a diverse pollinator community. Most of my work was on blueberry pollination. We have recently released a pocket-guide to bees of the Great Lakes Region and wildflowers to support them. The guide is available here. We also fully documented the species richness for the state.

In my current position, I am renewing focus on systematics of bees and their diversity. My student Reid Miller is studying beneficial insect diversity in tall grass prairies under different management strategies. Joel Gardner has undertaken the herculean task of dealing with Lasioglossum taxonomy for western North America.

Looking younger and thinner

Lasioglossum - nightmare taxon