Doing good for bumble bees takes finding out what’s bad for them. Sarah Scott, a doctoral student in the CFAES Department of Entomology, is studying how the fuzzy, buzzy, black-and-yellow pollinators get exposed to heavy metals in their environment—and what it can mean to their survival.
Supported by a highly competitive National Science Foundation graduate research fellowship, Scott hopes to contribute to what’s known about pollinator decline—the mysterious drop-off in bumble bees, honey bees, and other insect pollinators around the world, including in the United States and Ohio. Her goal, she said, is to “really understand how human factors affect pollinators, and where to best add habitat for them.”
“The strength of science is how far its impact goes,” Scott said. “What’s the point of learning something if it’s just going to sit on a bookshelf?”
Photo: Sarah Scott, at CFAES’ Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory, poses near hives housing bumble bees’ domesticated cousins. (Ken Chamberlain, CFAES.)