Cariveau Lab Team

Native Bee Lab Group Photo

Daniel Cariveau
Assistant Professor

Dan is a community ecologist with an interest in understanding the factors that drive biodiversity and how biodiversity may influence ecosystem function. His work focuses on native bee communities with a strong emphasis on pollination ecology. Most recently, his work focuses on restoration ecology as a way to conserve biodiversity and as a tool for examining basic questions in ecology.

He earned his PhD studying the interaction among plants through pollinators at Colorado State University under Dr. Andrew Norton. He then studied native bee community ecology and the role of native bees in crop pollination as a postdoctoral research associate at Rutgers University with Dr. Rachael Winfree.

Extension and Research

Elaine Evans
Elaine picture
Assistant Extension Professor

Research interests: I work on questions related to wild bee diversity and bee conservation. I am currently assessing the status of Minnesota wild bee communities in comparison to historic records as well as monitoring population of the endangered rusty-patched bumble bee and examining habitat associations.

Outreach and education: I work on bee citizen science efforts including the Minnesota Bee Atlas and the Minnesota Bumble Bee Survey. I also work on education efforts to increase awareness of wild bee habitat needs and instill action to create effective pollinator habitat.

PhD, Entomology, 2016, U of MN, Advisor: Marla Spivak
MS, Entomology, 2011, U of MN, Dept of Entomology, Advisor: Marla Spivak
BS, Biology, 1993, Evergreen State College, Olympia WA

Books:  Befriending Bumble Bees, Managing Alternative Pollinators

Zachary Portman
Zachary Portman Photo

Research Scientist

Research interests: I am a bee taxonomist, broadly interested in the evolution, ecology, and conservation of bees. My PhD work focused largely on the genus Perdita (Andrenidae). I am currently working on the regional taxonomy of Minnesota bees.

PhD, Ecology, 2017, Utah State Universit, Adviser: Terry Griswold.
BS, Biology and Computer Science, 2009, Union College.

Colleen Satyshur
Colleen Satyshur Portrait

Research Scientist

I am a Research Scientist at UMN working on three different stem and wood nesting wild bee projects. I have my Masters in Biology from the University of South Dakota studying the endangered Hine's emerald dragonfly. My undergraduate was in Biology from Cornell University. Between schooling I really enjoyed radio-tracking re-introduced whooping cranes and recording vocalizations of wild ones. I've worked at UMN since 2009, first as a research coordinator for the entomology portion of a study on using restored grasslands for both bioenergy and wildlife habitat. My three current projects are: 1. Native grassland plants used as nesting sites for wild bees, 2. Minnesota Bee Atlas-a citizen science project. 3. Minnesota Futures Grant called The Art and Science of Nesting Bees. My academic interests include ecology, grasslands, wild bees, and discovering the natural history and life cycles of stem nesting bees in particular. When not thinking about bees, I enjoy spending time with my husband, dog and two daughters, being outside, going to lots of playgrounds and parks. 

Current Graduate Students

Michelle Boone
Boone portrait

PhD Student

I’m a PhD student in the entomology program.  I joined the bee lab in 2017.  I am interested broadly in pollinator conservation, more specifically in assessing bumblebee communities along roadsides and in managed parks.  I’ve always been passionate about conservation and am very excited to be part of such an amazing team of researchers!

BS, Biology, 2016, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN

Julia Brokaw
Brokaw portrait

PhD Student

Research interests: I am interested in how to establish and restore prairies for native plants and wild bees and the driving factors that make restoration successful at both local and landscape levels. Additionally, I am interested in connecting policy decisions with prairie and pollinator conservation that help both people and the environment.
BS, Natural Resources; Applied Ecology, 2014, Cornell University
Ian Lane
Ian Lane Picture
PhD Student

Research interests: I am broadly interested in questions related to
bee community assembly and the role of restorations in conserving bee

Project: I am currently pursuing questions related to how bee
community composition in both prairie reconstructions and remnants
change as sites become increasingly isolated from other natural
habitats. I am also interested in how species specific floral
specialization might explain bee community structure within
reconstructed prairies along this gradient of isolation.

MS, Floral Enrichment of Turf Lawns to Benefit Pollinating Insects, 2016, University of MN, Advisors: Marla Spivak and Eric Watkins

BS, Crop and Soil Sciences, with a minor in entomology and a specialization in sustainable food systems, 2012, Michigan State University

Alan Ritchie
Alan Ritchie
M.S. Student

Research Interests: I am interested in plant-pollinator interactions, specifically how behavioral and morphological traits affect pollinator performance.

Project: Currently I am examining pollen limitation and its potential mechanisms in early restored prairies. Simultaneously, I'll be determining the most effective native bee pollinators of focal prairie plant species. I'm also interested in how the pollinator assemblages and degree of pollen limitation of focal plant species differ between restored and remnant prairies.


BS, Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, 2012, University of Texas at Austin


Ritchie, AD, Ruppel R, and Jha S. Generalist behavior describes pollen foraging for perceived oligolectic and polylectic bees. Environmental Entomology (2016): nvw032.

Amy Waananen
Amy Waananen Profile

PhD Student

Research Interests: I'm interested in studying how plant-pollinator interactions are maintained in fragmented habitats. In particular, I'm interested in how pollinators connect isolated populations of native wildflowers by moving pollen through the landscape and the implications this movement has for plant population ecology and evolution. In my free time I like to visit roadside attractions in western Minnesota.
BA, Biology, 2015, St. Olaf College

Current Technicians

Kiley Friedrich
kiley F picture
Research Scientist, Lab Technician

Research Interests:
I am interested in native bee populations as they relate to natural and agricultural lands.  I want to better understand plant and bee community interactions and how to best manage multifunctional landscapes.

I am working with the National Park Service to understand the influence of invasive plant management, specifically buckthorn removal, on wild pollinator populations.

MS, Entomology and Agroecology, 2017, University of Wisconsin, Advisor: Dr. Claudio Gratton
BS, Environmental Sciences, Policy, and Management, 2012, University of Minnesota
BA, Global Studies, 2012, University of Minnesota


Christina Herron-Sweet
Christina picture
Research Scientist

Christina joined the bee lab in February 2017 to help with projects studying wild bee communities and native plant pollination in prairie reconstructions around western Minnesota. She manages logistics including hiring technicians, developing protocols, and purchasing and maintaining supplies and equipment to ensure a successful field season. She also helps lead the field crew during summer.

Christina earned a B.A. from St. Olaf College in 2012 and an M.S. in Land Resources and Environmental Sciences from Montana State University in 2014. Her master's project involved studying the invasive plant spotted knapweed and its interactions with insects, including pollinators. Christina is passionate about applying science and research to improve conservation practices.

Michelle Vohs
Michelle Vohs Honeybee Lab

Research Scientist

Research Interests:

Michelle started at the Bee Lab in 2014 as an Undergraduate Research Assistant and currently works as a Research Scientist. 

Native Bee Lab: As an undergraduate she worked on a wild bee historical comparison study.  Body lengths of current and historic bees were compared to see if overall bee sizes were changing over time with changes in landscape. She is passionate about wild bees and finding ways to conserve and improve their habitat.

Honey Bee Lab: She has collected resin from honey bees, extracted RNA to make cDNA copies for real time PCR analysis and other field and laboratory work.  She is currently decoding waggle dances and recovering pollen from honey bees via acetolysis.  Michelle is interested in finding ways to improve honey bee health through research. 


B.S. Conservation Biology, with a minor in Entomology, 2017, University of Minnesota