Meet the Cariveau Native Bee Lab

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. Dan joined the Department of Entomology at the University of Minnesota as an Assistant Professor in September 2015.

Extension and Research

Elaine Evans
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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

Current Graduate Students

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.


2016 - M.S. - University of Minnesota. Advisor Marla Spivak and Eric
Watkins. Floral Enrichment of Turf Lawns to Benefit Pollinating

2012 - B.S. - Michigan State University - Crop and Soil Sciences, with
a minor in entomology and a specialization in sustainable food

Alan Ritchie
Alan Ritchie
MSc Student

Current Technicians

Kiley Friedrich
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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.



2017 – M.S.  – University of Wisconsin, Entomology and Agroecology. Advisor: Dr. Claudio Gratton

2012 – B.S. – University of Minnesota, Environmental Sciences, Policy, and Management

2012 – B.A. – University of Minnesota, Global Studies


Christina Herron-Sweet
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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.

Aaron Irber
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Lab Technician

Project: Nesting behavior of cavity-nesting bees


Education: B.S. Ecological and Environmental Biology, University of WI – Eau Claire, 2014