Jess Gambel

<jgambel (at) ucsd (dot) edu>

As a second-year Ph.D. student, I am interested in studying pollination biology and native bee behavior, both in agricultural and native systems. I am particularly interested in looking at how environmental change affects the plant-pollinator relationship. Climate warming and variability in precipitation are projected to increase over the current century. My research will simulate these projected changes on a vital agricultural crop, squash (Cucurbita pepo), and its specialist bee (Peponapis pruinosa). I will also examine the current status of native cucurbits and their mutualistic pollinators in the greater San Diego area. Additionally, I am interested in analyzing how climate change affects plant volatiles, and subsequently bee behavior, and in using stable isotopes to study the foraging habits of native bees.

Some of my past work on bees includes studying the tropical sweat bee, Megalopta genalis, in Panama, examining the pollination of pumpkin crops in Connecticut, as well as surveying the diversity of bee visitation to rare plant species in San Francisco. After many years of working in environmental education, I also hope to incorporate ecological outreach into my future scientific endeavors.

Grants and Awards

University of California Climate Neutrality Initiative Fellowship (2015)
Jeanne Marie Messier Memorial Fund Award (2015)