"The bee is more honored than other animals, not because she labors, but because she labors for others." - John Chrysostom


Rosemary L. Malfi
Ph.D. Candidate
Dept. Environmental Sciences
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA



I earned my B.A. in Biology in 2007 from Bryn Mawr College, an all-women's liberal arts institution located just outside of Philadelphia, PA.  Upon graduation, I spent two years working at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia (ANSP) as a lab manager for the in-house Patrick Center for Environmental Research (PCER). There, I worked on water quality monitoring and restoration projects in collaboration with the City of Philadelphia, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), the  USGS, and the EPA. During my time at ANSP, I also served as the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program Coordinator.

In 2009, I joined the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia, wher
e I am currently pursuing my Ph.D. under the advisement of Dr. T'ai Roulston. My current research focuses on the influence that flower (i.e., food) availability and parasitism have on bumblebee (Bombus spp.) population dynamics. Specifically, my research assesses how the interaction of these extrinsic risk factors with life history traits (e.g., foraging strategy, phenology) may result in differential impacts on bumblebee species within a community. Among the bumblebee parasites I have studied is the microsporidian Nosema bombi, which has been implicated in the decline of certain bumblebee species in the U.S. Most recently, I have been especially interested in the interaction between bumblebees and one of their parasitoids, the conopid fly. Although the basic biology of this interaction has been described, little is currently known about the ecology of this host-parasitoid relationship, particularly in North America. Over the last two years, I have worked with undergraduate research collaborators to investigate multiple aspects of this host-parasitoid relationship relating to behavioral ecology, population ecology, and even physiology. You can read more about my ongoing research under the "Research" and "People" tabs of this website.

I conduct my field work at Blandy Experimental Farm, a University of Virginia research station (and the State Arboretum of Virginia) located in the northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.