Dr. Marla Spivak is a leading entomologist in the movement to protect and enhance the health and diversity of the world’s declining honey bee population.  Essential to healthy ecosystems and to the agricultural industry as pollinators of a third of the United States’ food supply, honey bees have been disappearing at alarming rates in recent years due to the accumulated effects of parasitic mites, viral and bacterial diseases, and exposure to pesticides.  Her current research projects include breeding honey bees for their natural defenses against diseases and parasites, exploring the benefits of plant resins to honey bee social immunity, and propagating floral-rich and pesticide-free landscapes to support all pollinators. Spivak is a MacArthur Fellow and McKnight Distinguished Professor in Entomology at the University of Minnesota.  She received a B.A. from Humboldt State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Kansas.

Born: 1955

Hometown: St. Paul, MN

Education: Ph.D. in Entomology

Occupation: Professor and beekeeper, University of Minnesota

Expeditions: Searching for bees and beekeepers through South and Central America

Favorite Place: Somewhere I’ve never been

Accomplishment: I have an amazing son

Favorite Items In The Field: A hive tool and bee smoker

Personal Heroes: Dr. Charles Michener, Morihei Ueshiba

Hobbies: Aikido, bicycling, gardening

Favorite Books: The Mother Tree, Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest, Death of a Beekeeper

Website: www.beelab.umn.edu

Advice: Slow down, look, and listen.

Header photo by castleguard on Pixabay and used with Creative Commons license.