Wed, 11 Oct 2017

TESS Seminar


When: 11 October 17, 4pm -- 5pm

Where: At James Cook University
Room D3.054, Building D3 - The Cairns Institute, Cairns Campus

How does an emergent disease affect bee pollination behaviour?

Presented by Dr Lori Lach from James Cook University

When: 4pm - 5pm Wednesday 11th October 2017, followed by drinks & nibbles

Where: Cairns Institute D3.054 video-linked to Townsville ATSIP theatre 145.030, JCU

Who: All welcome!


We hear a lot in the media about bee declines and the subsequent loss of pollinating capacity.  Clearly dead pollinators can’t pollinate, but less appreciated and studied is how species introductions and novel sub-lethal disease may affect the behavior of pollinators.  Australia has approximately 2000 species of native bees, including 11 species of social stingless bees, yet relies heavily on the pollination services of the introduced European honey bee (Apis mellifera). Though Australia has some of the healthiest honey bees in the world, it has not escaped pathogen spillover. The Cairns region has also been subject to recent invasion by Asian honey bees (Apis cerana).  I will present the findings from three studies in my research group. In the first we investigated whether a novel gut pathogen (Nosema ceranae) that has spilled over from the Asian honey bee affects foraging behavior of European honey bees.  In the second study, we investigated floral visitation by native bees, European honey bees, and Asian honey bees to determine whether they are partitioning floral resources and whether the honey bees’ floral and resource choices are affected by N. ceranae infection. Finally, we investigated the susceptibility of a native stingless bee to N. ceranae, the prevalence of the disease in the native bee, and the likelihood of transmission at flowers.


Lori is a Senior Lecturer on the JCU Cairns campus in the College of Science and Engineering. She is a community ecologist broadly interested in the effects of human-induced changes to the environment on the functioning of ecosystems. She is particularly interested in the effect of biological invasions and is most well-known for her work on invasive ants. She was awarded an ARC DECRA in 2013. Though she grew up amidst the cornfields (and snow drifts) of middle America, her introduction to ecology and conservation came as a study abroad experience in Queensland's rainforests. After completing her undergraduate and Masters degrees, lots more travel, and a 3 year stint as an environmental consultant, she earned her PhD from Cornell University. She held NSF and ARC funded post-doctoral positions in Mauritius and Western Australia before commencing at JCU in 2013.

Video-recordings will be posted to the TESS website the following week

Contact details:

Jaime Huther |