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Look closely at a flower, and inevitably you will find visitors dropping by. Bees, hummingbirds, moths, butterflies, and many other creatures alight upon the fragile blooms, and as they do so they perform the essential work of pollination. Yet our pollinators are in dire straits, and as the pollinators fair so fairs our ecosystem. What are the threats to these industrious creatures, and how can we work to build a world that supports our pollinators and ourselves?
Christina Grozinger's research focuses on the genetic mechanisms that regulate social behavior, chemical communication and health in honey bees and other social insects. Her work is highly interdisciplinary, spanning behavioral ecology, chemical ecology, physiology, neurobiology, and genomics. She received her BSc from McGill University in 1997, and her MSc and PhD from Harvard University in 1999 and 2001, where she was supported by a National Science Foundation (NSF) Predoctoral Fellowship. Grozinger was awarded a Beckman Institute Fellowship for her post-doctoral studies with Gene Robinson at the University of Illinois. Grozinger joined the faculty at NCSU as an Assistant Professor in 2004, joined the faculty at Penn State (PSU) as an Associate Professor in 2008, co-founded and was named the Director of the PSU Center for Pollinator Research in 2009, and was promoted to Professor rank in 2013. Grozinger has received numerous awards, including an NSF CAREER Award, PSU Harbaugh Faculty Scholars Award, and was elected the 2014 President of the North American Section of the International Union for the Study of Social Insects. She has published over 45 peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts and three book chapters, and has given over 60 invited seminar/symposia lectures. Grozinger has mentored 29 undergraduates, 11 graduate students, and 7 postdoctoral researchers, many of whom have received prestigious awards and fellowships. Finally, Grozinger has actively raised awareness of the issues facing pollinators: since 2010, she has co-organized two international conferences on pollinator health, short courses on queen rearing and RNAi, and outreach activities for the Center for Pollinator Research which reach >13,000 individuals annually.
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