Research in our lab focuses on the impact of pesticides, pathogens, and habitat on honey bees and wild bees. We are particularly interested in scientific research that can inform management decisions by beekeepers, growers and the public. Current research projects include: 1) Understanding pesticide exposure and risk to bees in multiple land management contexts, 2) Combining empirical data with network modeling to understand pathogen transmission in complex plant-pollinator networks, and 3) Understanding how habitat enhancements (e.g., flowers at solar power sites) impact pollinator populations and the services they provide to agriculture.
Our lab shares space with the Cornell Chemical Ecology Core Facility, where we currently operate a 260-compound multi-residue pesticide analysis via UPLC-MS/MS. We also have lab space for molecular biology (PCR, etc.), walk-in growth chamber space for rearing bees and bioassays, and off-campus space (the Dyce Lab for Honey Bee Studies) where our ~75-colony research and extension apiaries are located.
Outreach and Extension Focus
Our extension efforts are mainly geared towards beekeepers, growers and the public. Our main extension website is: https://pollinator.cals.cornell.edu/, and you can find us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/DyceLab/
I write a monthly column in American Bee Journal, which reaches ~15,000 subscribers. Each month, I summarize a recent pollinator health paper from the primary literature for a non-scientific audience. The goal is to make the emerging pollinator health science more approachable and relevant to beekeepers:
I am also a member of the New York State Beekeeper Tech Team, which works directly with NYS beekeepers to improve honey bee health, reduce colony losses, and increase profitability of the state’s beekeeping industry: https://pollinator.cals.cornell.edu/nys-beekeeper-tech-team/
I coordinate workshops for beekeepers and the public, such as "Introduction to Honey Bee Queen Rearing" and "Honey Bee Biology and Disease Management for Veterinarians": https://pollinator.cals.cornell.edu/resources/beekeeping-workshops
I also interact extensively with growers regarding pesticide risk to bees and creating pollinator-friendly habitat. Our extension materials on this topic can be found at: https://pollinator.cals.cornell.edu/resources/grower-resources/
With a 60-40 research-extension split, I have no formal teaching commitments. However, I love to teach and lead a bi-weekly 'Pollinator Reading Group' that is open to undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs and faculty. The focus of the reading group is discussion of current literature, research plans and happenings related to pollinators at Cornell and elsewhere. I also give regular guest lectures in courses such as Applied Entomology, Honey Bee Biology, and Integrated Pest Management, and I administer our pollinator list serve (POLLINATOR-L@cornell.edu).
- Adler, L. S., Michaud, K., Ellner, S. P., McArt, S., Stevenson, P. C., & Irwin, R. E. (2019). Trait-based modeling of multi-host pathogen transmission: Plant-pollinator networks. The American Naturalist.
- McArt, S., Urbanowicz, C., McCoshum, S., Irwin, R. E., & Adler, L. S. (2017). Landscape predictors of pathogen prevalence and range contractions in US bumblebees. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 284.
- McArt, S., Fersch, A. A., Milano, N. J., Truitt, L. L., & Böröczky, K. (2017). High pesticide risk to honey bees despite low focal crop pollen collection during pollination of a mass blooming crop. Scientific Reports. 7:10.
- McArt, S. H., Koch, H., Irwin, R. E., & Adler, L. S. (2014). Arranging the bouquet of disease: Floral traits and the transmission of plant and animal pathogens. Ecology Letters. 17:624-636.
- Kaplan, I., McArt, S., & Thaler, J. S. (2014). Plant defenses and predation risk differentially shape patterns of consumption, growth, and digestive efficiency in a guild of leaf-chewing insects. PLOS One. 9:e93714.
- McArt, S. (2018). 2018 New York State Beekeeper Tech Team Spring Honey Bee Health Report..
- Deutsch, K. R., & McArt, S. (2018). Notes from the lab: The latest bee science distilled. Summary of Bailes et al. 2018 [Biology Letters 14:20180001]: “First detection of bee viruses in hoverfly (syrphid) pollinators”. p. 583 - 584 American Bee Journal, Notes from the lab: The latest bee science distilled Dadant & Sons, Inc., Hamilton, IL, United States .
- McArt, S. (2018). Notes from the lab: The latest bee science distilled. Summary of Fisher et al. 2018 [Journal of Economic Entomology 111:510-516]: “The effects of the insect growth regulators methoxyfenozide and pyriproxyfen and the acaricide bifenazate on honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) forager survival”. p. 821 - 822 American Bee Journal, Notes from the lab: The latest bee science distilled Dadant & Sons, Inc., Hamilton, IL, United States .
- McArt, S. (2018). Notes from the lab: The latest bee science distilled. Summary of Hallmann et al. 2017 [Plos One 12(10):e0185809]: “More than 75 percent decline over 27 years in total flying insect biomass in protected areas”. p. 53 American Bee Journal, Notes from the lab: The latest bee science distilled Dadant & Sons, Inc., Hamilton, IL, United States .
- McArt, S. (2018). Notes from the lab: The latest bee science distilled. Summary of Lopez-Uribe et al. 2017 [Conservation Genetics 18:659-666]: “Higher immunocompetence is associated with higher genetic diversity in feral honey bee colonies (Apis mellifera)”. p. 203 - 204 American Bee Journal, Notes from the lab: The latest bee science distilled Dadant & Sons, Inc., Hamilton, IL, United States .