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Like ARCS, Bees Find Strength in Numbers

Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2016

Chelsea Cook (Colorado Chapter scholar alum; Ph.D., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado – Boulder) is developing important information about crowd behaviors by studying bees. Individual bees act on available information such as temperature to optimize their colony’s conditions and protect their larvae. But Cook and her research team found that the bees' evolutionary response is more centralized when temperatures spike quickly and/or when large groups of bees are gathered. She is planning to use this information to enhance models and predictive tools. In the meantime, though, Channel 9 recently highlighted her research!

Chelsea says: “For a biology PhD student studying insects in Colorado, summer is the most critical time of the year. Every data point I collected during my Ph.D. came from the precious 4 months of summer. But, for the first 2 years of my PhD, in order to barely pay rent and eat, I worked 1 month during the summer teaching general biology labs. While I loved teaching, this meant I had 30 less days to do research. The ARCS award changed that. The 3 generous years of ARCS funding gave me 3 more months of research, and I genuinely don't believe my PhD would have been as good as it turned out to be without it.”