The Hines Lab at Penn State studies the evolution, diversity, and conservation of bees and wasps
Our research integrates across biology, from molecular (genomics, development, chemistry) to ecological, to address multiple facets of biodiversity. We are:
- Discovering evolutionary and genetic processes generating morphological diversity including the mimetic color diversity in bees, and the elaborate gall morphologies induced by gall wasps (Cynipidae).
- Exploring plant-pollinator coevolution, including addressing how floral secondary compounds drive visitation bias in bees.
- Examining variation in social strategies in bumble bees, such as studying how socially parasitic bumble bee genomes have changed upon reverting to a worker-less parasitic lifestyle.
- Helping to define phylogenetic relationships and understand speciation processes in bees and wasps.
- Seeking solutions to bee declines through studying the landscape factors that most influence bee health, applying techniques from the lab to the field.