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Giant Hornets and Honeybee Defenses with Dr. Heather Mattila

March 16, 2023 6:30 PM

Online Event - Register to Attend

Giant Hornets and Honeybee Defenses

with Dr. Heather Mattila

Sharing her research on giant hornets, Dr. Mattila discusses her fieldwork in southeast Asia with collaborators that investigates the unique ways that Asian honey defend themselves from group attacks by giant hornets. Understanding the nature of this long-standing predator-prey relationship helps us to understand the challenges honeybees in North America face with the recent introduction of giant hornets on the west coast.

Dr. Heather Mattila
Dr. Heather Mattila

Speaker Details:

Dr. Heather Mattila

Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Wellesley College

Heather is an Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at Wellesley College, a women's liberal arts college that is located just outside of Boston (USA). She completed her Ph.D. in 2005 at the University of Guelph (Canada), where her research focused on the effects of nutritional stress on colony health and productivity. She subsequently completed a four-year postdoctoral fellowship at Cornell University (USA), where her research shifted to an examination of the mating behavior by honeybee queens and its impact on the colonies that they produce. Heather has been a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Wellesley College since 2009. At Wellesley, her research continues to focus on mechanisms of social communication and organization, including honeybee behavior, the chemical ecology of colonies, the microbiology of queens and workers, and impact of nutritional stress on workers. Recently, her research program has expanded to examine these topics in bumble bees, Asian honeybees, and hornets.

Heather teaches undergraduate classes at Wellesley College about organismal biology, animal behavior, and social insect biology. In addition to teaching at the College, she is honored to receive opportunities to speak with beekeepers and other people around the world who are interested in learning about how to support the health and welfare of bees. Heather’s research program is supported by a dedicated group of Wellesley students, collaborations with colleagues from universities across North America, Europe, and Asia, and by the many colonies of bees that her lab maintains on the Wellesley College campus.


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