Welcome to our site! The Li-Byarlay Lab is interested in testing innovative hypotheses in the fields of functional genomics, genetics and epigenetics bases of social behavior, and stress physiology of honey bees. 
        Why? Because the honeybee is a classic model system to study sociality and evolution of social behaviors, and the most important managed pollinators! There are a lot of fascinating questions in social insects. One of the fundamental questions in behavioral biology is how molecular composition of genetics and epigenetics provides the basis for their special functional properties? What is the mechanism by which a behavior is accomplished? How did that mechanism come to be? 
        Our lab's research aims to 1) understand the evolutionary genetics and epigenetic marks underlying social behaviors of honey bees, 2) genomic and epigenomic variation and potential molecular mechanisms modulating social behaviors, 3) investigate the variation of the life history and physiological traits of social bees under parasitic and pathogenic stresses, and 4) develop innovative strategies in breeding for improving honey bee health. 
        We are addressing these questions using a combination of multifaceted and novel approaches, including next-generation sequencing and functional genomics/epigenomics, genome editing, and RNA interference, field, semi-field and lab behavioral assays, and physiological assays.