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You are here: FRIAS Fellows Fellows 2021/22 Prof. Christina Grozinger

Prof. Christina Grozinger

Pennsylvania State University
Entomology, Genomics, Animal Behavior, Ecology & Sustainable Agriculture

External Senior Fellow (FRESCO programme)
March 2022 - December 2024


Christina Grozinger is the Publius Vergilius Maro Professor of Entomology and the Director for the Center for Pollinator Research and Insect Biodiversity Center, and the Associate Director of Research at the Institute for Sustainable Agricultural, Food and Environmental Science at Penn State.  She is a Fellow of the Entomological Society of America and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and received the 2020 NAS Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences.  She received her bachelor's degree in chemistry and biology at McGill University, and her master's and doctoral degrees from Harvard University.  Grozinger’s studies on social behavior seek to elucidate the proximate and ultimate mechanisms mediating cooperation and conflict in insect societies. Her studies on pollinator health evaluate the impacts of biotic and abiotic stressors at the molecular, physiological and behavioral level, and examine how bees’ resilience to these stressors can be bolstered by management practices and environmental contexts, particularly by improved nutrition. Grozinger is developing models and decision support tools to evaluate landscape and climate conditions and predict bee health at local scales, to help beekeepers, growers, land managers and members of the public better assess and mitigate the stressors that their managed and wild bee populations experience.

Selected Publications

  • Kammerer, M., Goslee, S., Douglas, M.R., Tooker, J.F., Grozinger, C.M. “Wild bees as winners and losers: relative impacts of landscape composition, quality, and climate.” Global Change Biology January 12 (2021)

  • Douglas, M.R., Sponsler, D.B., Lonsdorf, E.V. and C.M. Grozinger. “County-level analysis reveals a rapidly shifting landscape of insecticide hazard to honey bees (Apis mellifera) on US farmland”  Scientific Reports 10(1), 1-11. (2020)

  • Grozinger C.M. and A. Zayed. “Genomics for understanding and improving pollinator health in a world of multiple stressors” Nature Reviews Genetics 21: 277–291DOI: 10.1038/s41576-020-0216-1 (2020).

  • Sponsler, D.B., Shump, D., Richardson, R., Grozinger, C.M. “Characterizing the floral resources of a North American metropolis using a honey bee foraging assay”  Ecosphere 11(4): e03102 DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.3102 (2020).

  • McNeil, D.J., McCormick, E., Heimann, A., Kammerer, M., Douglas, M., Goslee, S.C., Grozinger, C.M., and H. M. Hines. “Bumble Bees in Landscapes with Abundant Floral Resources Have Lower Pathogen Loads”.  Scientific Reports 10(1), 1-12 (2020)

FRIAS Research Project

Accelerating research on land use and climate change effects on pollinator populations through high-throughput tools

Populations of bees and other pollinators are showing declines across the world. These declines are the result of land use and climate change. Agricultural intensification reduces the availability of flowering plants that bees depend on for food, and increases the risk of pesticide exposure. Climate change can alter the phenology and physiology of flowering plants and bees, reducing the ability of the bees to obtain adequate nutrition. These factors interact to cause bees to be more susceptible to pathogens and parasites. While these underlying factors are well-understood, it is currently not possible to predict the effects of these factors on specific bee populations. If we can establish site-specific predictions of local land use and climate effects on bee populations, we can predict which populations will be most threatened, providing valuable information to inform management practices, of the bees and surrounding landscape, to make bee pollinators more resilient to environmental changes. Modelling the effect of land use and climate on individual bee species and bee communities requires large data sets of entire landscapes, which have both great temporal and spatial range and resolution. Traditional approaches to monitoring bee populations and their interactions with the surrounding plant community are labor intensive. In this project, Grozinger will work with Dr. Alex Klein and Dr. Andrew Straw to use remote sensing, artificial-intelligence enabled automated behavioral monitoring and tracking systems, and genomics to monitor and map landscape quality, foraging preferences, and bee health across diverse landscapes.