Dr. Kirsten Traynor

I spent my time as a German Chancellor Fellow investigating the differences between European and American beekeeping. I didn’t want my bee journey to end after my fellowship, so I applied to graduate school at Arizona State University. I convinced Robert Page to take a chance on an unusual graduate student (an English major) with a fascination for bees. He allowed me into the graduate research program in biology on the condition that I pass the GRE Biology subject test within the first year. I succeeded and earned my master’s and PhD, focusing my research on how young honey bees use pheromone signals to manipulate their caregivers. After a postdoc at the University of Maryland, I returned to Germany as a Junior Fellow of the College of Life Sciences at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin. There, I met Tim Landgraf, who had developed a tracking system to follow bees inside an observation hive. In April 2021, I became the head of the LAVES Institute for Bee Research in Celle, Germany, the institution that had hosted me during my BUKA year. In May 2022, I accepted the position of director of the State Institute of Bee Research in Stuttgart, Germany at the University of Hohenheim. It’s a dream job that allows me to combine my love of teaching, research, and outreach with a great research group and phenomenal students excited about bees and biodiversity.

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