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2012 Dutch Gold Honey Undergraduate Research Award Recipients Announced

Posted: September 25, 2012

Megan Snyder, a sophomore studying Immunology and Infectious Disease with a minor in Entomology and Christina Folmar, a junior studying Agroecology at the University Park campus are the recipients of the 2012 Dutch Gold Honey Undergraduate Research Award.

The Dutch Gold Honey and William R. Gamber II Endowment in Entomology is awarded to undergraduate students actively involved in honey bee research in the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences.  It was created in 2010 by generous donations from the honey distributor Dutch Gold Honey and William and Kitty Gamber, of Lancaster, PA.

Megan Snyder is working with Holly Holt, a third year graduate student in Dr. Christina Grozinger's laboratory. She is using behavioral, physiological and molecular assays to examine the effects of the microsporidian parasitic fungi, Nosema, on adult male (drone) honey bees to determine whether infection with Nosema alters drone nutritional and maturational status, thereby negatively impacting sexual maturation and mating ability.

Christina Folmar will be working with Professors Chris Mullin, Jim Frazier and Maryann Frazier to characterize pesticide adjuvants and other toxicants negatively impacting honey bees. She will also use behavioral bioassays to determine how toxic certain adjuvants are to honey bees. Christina has been keeping honeybees of her own for the past 7 years.

The Dutch Gold Award supports the research and educational mission of the Center for Pollinator Research, and the research performed by Synder and Folmar are excellent examples of the collaborative and multidisciplinary approaches used by Center members to study and improve pollinator health.