Declan Schroeder (Ph.D.) was appointed in as an Associate Professor in pathogen detection and surveillance in February 2018 through the Agricultural Research, Education, Extension and Technology Transfer (AGREETT) program. He is an Associate Professor of Virology in the Veterinary Population Medicine Department in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota.
He also holds an honorary Chair in Viral Metagenomics in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Reading, United Kingdom. He was the former Director of the Marine Biological Association of the UK Culture Collection where he was also a Senior Research Fellow in Viral and Molecular Ecology (2001-2018).
Dr. Ben Hause is a virologist with over 60 high-impact peer-reviewed papers and over 10 granted and provisional U.S. patent applications. An assistant professor at South Dakota State University, he’s previously held positions at Kansas State University (assistant professor), Cambridge Technologies (V.P. of R&D), and Newport Laboratories (Director of Diagnostic Services) as well as the president of Tallgrass Biologics, LLC. He also serves as adjunct faculty at Kansas State University. Dr. Hause’s research focuses on emerging viruses that affect animal agriculture and the development of effective vaccine countermeasures.
Brooke Nikkila manages bees and serves as the program manager for Bee Squad's Pollinator Ambassadors program. She also gives pollinator talks to groups throughout the Twin Cities. Brooke first discovered her interest in bees while doing research at the University of Wisconsin-Stout where she completed her undergraduate degree in applied science with a concentration in biotechnology.
Cecilia Balestreri is a postdoctoral associate at the University of Minnesota. She completed her Ph.D. in molecular microbiology at the University of Oxford in the U.K. For the last couple of years, she has been working on giant viruses, and recently, she started working on the deformed wing virus (DWV) which causes deformed wings and abdomen in adult honeybees in colonies infested with Varroa mites.
Dr. Dean McKeown is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Schroeder Lab at the University of Minnesota, where he is working on the spillover of DWV between honeybees and wild bees. His research interests focus on the ecology and genomics of diverse viruses from various biological systems. The giant viruses of seaweeds were the subject of his Ph.D. and previous postdoctoral position.
Elaine Evans is a University of Minnesota Extension Educator and researcher working on pollinator education and research relating to bee conservation. She completed her M.S. and Ph.D. in Entomology at the University of Minnesota. She has authored several books: “Befriending Bumble Bees: A Guide to Raising Local Bumble Bees” and “Managing Alternative Pollinators”. Her work helps to monitor pollinators, improve the impact of pollinator habitat, raise awareness of the importance of pollinators, and provide action steps for pollinator conservation.
Jenny Warner has been a valued member of the UMN Bee Lab since 1997 and is a founding member of the UMN Bee Squad. She graduated with a B.S. in Horticultural Food Production and a minor in Soil Science from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.
Jessica Helgen is the Bee Squad's Program Director and manages the amazing team of Bee Squad beekeepers, educators, artists, and researchers. She manages honey bee hives, collects data, and is the coordinator and primary instructor for the Mentoring Apiary program and Beekeeping for Veterans program. Jessica enjoys teaching new beekeepers how to keep their hives healthy and try gloveless beekeeping.
Marla Spivak is a MacArthur Fellow and McKnight Distinguished Professor in Entomology at the University of Minnesota. Her research efforts focus on protecting and enhancing the health of honey bees, and on propagating floral rich landscapes to support all pollinators.