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I am an ecologist and entomologist interested in how insects respond to changes in the landscape - specifically those related to large-scale global changes in agriculture and climate. I use modern ecoinformatics approaches to explore questions and patterns related to insect ecology and global change and then use lab and field experimentation to test theories and develop more robust, causal associations between changes in the landscape and those in insect behavior, populations, and communities. My work thus far has used bumble bees as a model system, and I have grown rather fond my familiar, fuzzy friends over the past 7 years.

Currently, I am a postdoctoral scholar with Claudio Gratton and James Crall at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I’m working in tandem with folks here understand how interacting global change drivers, including climate change and agricutural practices, impact insect behavior and occurrence. To do this, I’ll also be helping develop and test new technologies to monitor insects in the field using remote cameras and computer vision methods.

Previously, I was a USDA NIFA postdoctoral fellow with Neal Williams investigating how bumble bee behavior and community composition respond to heat waves - an extreme weather event now commonplace in Californian landscapes.

I completed my PhD with Claudio Gratton at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2020 where I worked to understand the factors that drive bumble bee species to become increasingly common. Several of my chapters explored how changes in the abundance of flowers in time and space brought about by agroecosystem management (e.g., mass-flowering crops) are dealt with by Wisconsin’s most common bumble bee, Bombus impatiens. I also examined the diverging population patterns of Midwestern bumble bee species in response to agricultural intensification using historic agricultural census data and bumble bee records - taking the theory from my experimental work and applying it across large, spatiotemporal datasets.

If you are interested in any of the above, please reach out via email or Mastodon @hemberger@ecoevo.social.