Dr. Marla Spivak
Distinguished McKnight Professor
Marla Spivak is a MacArthur Fellow and McKnight Distinguished Professor in Entomology at the University of Minnesota. She and Gary Reuter bred a line of honey bees, the Minnesota Hygienic line, and are now initiating a new breeding program to select bees that can defend themselves against diseases and parasitic mites. Other current research includes studies of the benefits of plant resins (propolis) to honey bees, and the effects of agricultural landscapes and pesticides on bee health.
Marla's interest in bees began when she worked for a commercial beekeeper in New Mexico in 1975. She obtained her PhD from the University of Kansas in 1989 on the identification and ecology of Africanized and European honey bees in Costa Rica. She was a post-doctoral researcher at the Center for Insect Science at the University of Arizona before coming to the University of Minnesota in 1993.