Saving bees one microbe at a time
Symbiotic relationships (spanning parasitism to mutualism) are pervasive in nature, and the McFrederick lab aims to understand the evolution and ecology of these relationships. We focus on understanding how symbioses affect the viability of wild bee populations, with the ultimate goal of protecting these important pollinators. We ask basic scientific questions that are rooted in natural history and have implications for conservation: (A) How are symbionts acquired? (B) Are interactions between microbial guilds important for host health? (C) How do microbes affect bee populations? To answer these questions, we use a combination of experimentation, phylogenetics and phylogenomics, population genetics and genomics, and bacterial community next-generation sequencing surveys.