Ethel M. Villalobos, Ph.D
Ethel is originally from Costa Rica but has lived in Hawaii for a long time. She completed her undergraduate work at the Universidad de Costa Rica and went on to obtain her Ph.D. in biology from UCLA. Her dissertation thesis 'Reproductive strategies in solitary Hymenoptera: plasticity in mating and nesting behaviors' focused on reproductive behavior of leaf cutter bees and tropical sandwasps. Ethel is responsible for researching varroa treatments, mite-bee interactions, colony health assessment, and hygienic behavior. Ethel is also involved in developing outreach programs for farmers in need of pollination services.
Mark G. Wright, Ph.D
Mark is originally from South Africa where he obtained his Ph.D. in Zoology/Entomology. Mark moved to the US and conducted research at Cornell University where he worked on augmentative biological control of Ostrinia nubilalis using Trichogramma. Mark's current research program at UH involves the development of IPM strategies for a number of crop species including pineapple, papaya, coffee, banana, and macadamia nuts. His main research interests include biological control and risk assessment.
Scott Nikaido
Scott obtained a B.A. in Psychology (2002) and a B.A. in Zoology (2006) from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He became an integral part of Dr. Couvillon's lab at the Bekesy Laboratory of Neurobiology where he assisted researchers in a variety of learning experiments on honeybees, pigeons, and crayfish. With the arrival of the varroa mite to the islands, Scott's laboratory duties included mite sampling and organic management techniques to combat mite infestations at the Bekesy lab. Presently Scott is in charge of our apiary at the Waimanalo Research Station. He works on screening for hygienic behavior, testing possible pest controls, outreach, and education programs.
Jason Wong
Jason obtained a B.A. in Microbiology (2009) and an M.S. in Molecular Biosciences & Bioengineering (2011) from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He joined the Honeybee Project in the summer of 2012. He is currently working towards his Ph.D in Entomology. His research involves the small hive beetle, its population dynamics, and its role as a possible viral vector for deformed wing virus.
Clesson Higashi
Clesson is native of Kauai, and obtained his MSc. in Entomology at UH Manoa in 2012. Clesson's thesis research involved the transmission of viruses via insect vectors. Clesson is using his extensive experience with insect-plant viruses, and molecular techniques, to lend a hand to the Bee Project on aspects of viral disease transmission in honeybee colonies, as well as in education and outreach projects.
Zhening Zhang
Ning is from Harbin, China and obtained his degree in Bee Science from Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University. There he studied honeybee biology, in particular the preference to different types of sugars exhibited by worker bees. He joined the Honeybee Project in the Fall of 2013 and is currently working on his Master's degree in Entomology. Ning is interested in honeybee biology and ecology in the tropics.
Elena Moser
Elena Moser conducted her BS Honor's Thesis with our lab during the 2012 school year. Elena's thesis focused on the prevalence of Nosema ceranae in local colonies. Elena is now a veterinary student in the mainland US and we miss her but wish her the best!
Tyler Ito
Tyler obtained a B.S. degree from the University of Hawaii (Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences) in 2008, and has since decided to continue to work towards his M.Sc. in the field of entomology. Tyler's thesis deals with a variety of aspects of varroa-bee interactions, including management options, bee baiting for varroa suppression, and bee foraging behavior. Tyler tested the efficacy of drone comb removal as a control method for Hawaii.
Jane Tavares
Jane achieved a B.S. in Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2009. She joined the Honeybee / Varroa Project in the fall of 2009 and is currently working on her masters degree in entomology. Her thesis involves pollination studies of Avocado, Coffee, Lychee, and Macadamia in order to determine necessary hive quantity for adequate pollination for these crops.
George Hudes
George is a beekeeper with many years of experience and is our principal source of advice on the practicalities of beekeeping.