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Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab

Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab


The Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory (HBREL) is administered by Dr. Cameron Jack (Assistant Professor), Ms. Amy Vu (State Specialized Program Agent), and Dr. Jamie Ellis (Professor). The HBREL team is composed of faculty, visiting scholars, post-doctoral research fellows, graduate students, undergraduate students, technicians, and laboratory assistants. All members of the HBREL are committed to improving the collective understanding of honey bees and the communities that these bees support.

Dr. Jamie Ellis

Jamie Ellis
(352) 273-3924

Dr. Jamie Ellis is the Gahan Endowed Professor of Entomology in the Entomology and Nematology Department at the University of Florida. At the University of Florida, Ellis has responsibilities in extension, instruction and research related to honey bees. Regarding his extension work, Ellis created the UF, South Florida, and Caribbean Bee Colleges, and the UF Master Beekeeper Program. As an instructor, Ellis supervises Ph.D. and masters students in addition to offering an online course in apiculture. Ellis and his team conduct research projects in the fields of honey bee husbandry, conservation and ecology, and integrated crop pollination. 

Cameron Jack Head Shot

Cameron Jack 
Assistant Professor
(352) 294-6926

Dr. Cameron Jack is an Assistant Professor in the Entomology and Nematology Department at the University of Florida. Cameron seeks to improve the beekeeping industry through both instruction and research. He teaches many courses related to beekeeping and honey health, training students to become successful beekeepers and supporting the industry. Cameron supports both graduate and undergraduate students with their research questions to enable others to contribute to the overall body of scientific knowledge. His primary research efforts are focused on honey bee toxicology and epidemiology.

Amy Vu

Amy Vu 
State Specialized Program Extension Agent
(352) 273-3969

Amy Vu is the UF/IFAS State Specialized Program Extension Agent for the Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab, where she oversees all Extension activities. She runs the University of Florida Master Beekeeper Program, the University of Florida Bee Colleges, UF IFAS Honey Bee Blog, speaker requests, media inquiries, the lab's social media pages, and is the co-host of the lab’s podcast “Two Bees in a Podcast”. Vu's Extension's programming involve 1) Honey Bee Health, 2) Train-the-Trainers, 3) Value-Added Products. Amy has an undergraduate degree in Agronomy with an emphasis on Soils and Environmental Science and a Master's degree in Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education from Virginia Tech. Before joining the HBREL, she worked at the University of Florida's International Center, and was Orange County Extension's urban horticulture agent and Master Gardener coordinator. 

Mary Bammer headshot

Mary Bammer
Instructional Designer
(352) 448-1070

Mary Bammer develops and manages the HBREL's online Extension courses, including the UF/IFAS Master Beekeeper Program. She was formerly the lab's Extension coordinator and recently graduated from UF with a Master's in Extension education and a certificate in online teaching and learning. Bammer works to bring top-notch honey bee education to beekeepers across Florida and around the world through targeted and effective distance education courses.

Chris Oster Headshot

Chris Oster
Lab Manager
(352) 273- 3932

Chris Oster is the Lab Manager for the Honey Bee Research and Extension LabIn this position he oversees all of the day-to-day operations that help to keep the lab running including precuring materials to be used in research, coordinating between HBREL and outside vendors, coordinating volunteers, and maintaining lab equipmentOster graduated from the University of Florida with a degree on Environmental Science, where he was introduced to honey bees through volunteering at the HBREL. 

Steven Keith

Steven Keith
Lab Beekeeper 

Steven Keith is the beekeeper and hive manager for the University of Florida Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab. He is passionate about honey bee health and beekeeping education. His responsibilities include management of the hives used for research at the HBREL, assisting with data collection, upkeep of HBREL equipment and facilities, and helping students learn the basics of beekeeping. Keith comes with a practical background in apiary management, honey processing, and swarm removal and relocation.

Louis Dennin

Louis Dennin
Extension Coordinator 

Louis joined the Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab as the Extension Coordinator in 2022. He has a B.Sc. in Economics from the University of Central Florida, where he was the Outreach Coordinator for the UCF “Bug Closet” and assisted in the setup of UCF’s first on-campus apiary. As a part of the HBREL, Dennin heads the planning and running of Bee College and maintains the @UFHoneyBeeLab social media accounts. He also has a hand in many other extension projects at the lab, and wants to support ongoing education efforts in the world of honey bee and pollinator biology.

Jose Alberto Pinheiro Marcelino
Postdoctoral Researcher

Jose is an invited Research Scholar at the University of Florida, Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab. He manages an ongoing honey bee  subspecies collection from the world at large. The collection constitutes the basis for his project developing geo-morphometric and molecular diagnostic tools to accurately and expediently determine subspecies of Apis mellifera and integrate these tools into AI machine learning. His previous research focused on invertebrates as indicators of anthropogenic impact.

Kaylin Kleckner

Kaylin Kleckner
Graduate Student 

Kaylin Kleckner is a PhD student at the University of Florida Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab. She joined HBREL in 2018 while completing her B.S. in Entomology and Nematology. Kleckner conducted toxicology research evaluating potential chemical controls for Varroa and small hive beetles. As a field technician, she assisted in colony management, design of field studies, and data collection.

Marley Iredale

Dr. Marley Iredale
Graduate Student 

Dr. Marley Iredale is a veterinary pathologist working to expand her knowledge of honey bees and their pathogens.  She received her bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Ecology and veterinary degree from Washington State University.  She completed a one year medical internship at a private veterinary hospital in New York before her residency in Anatomic Pathology at the University of Florida, where she fell in love with honey bees. Her PhD work as part of the Entomology department aims to mitigate some of the challenges currently facing honey bees and apiarists.

Julia St. Amant

Julia St. Amant
Lab Technician

Julia is a Lab Technician at the Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory. Introduced to HBREL as a volunteer, she now conducts honey bee research on control for Varroa destructor and other pests and pathogens. She graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Biology, a Minor in Entomology and Nematology, and a Minor in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation.

Devan Rawn

Devan Rawn
Field Technician 

Devan joined the HBREL as a field technician in November 2022. His work focuses on research in honey bee nutrition, control of Varroa, and queen rearing. Devan comes from Ontario, Canada, where he received a B.Sc. in Biology from the University of Guelph. He was previously a technician with the Ontario Beekeepers’ Association Technology Transfer Program, a commercial beekeeper producing queens and honey, and has taught at Niagara College Canada’s commercial beekeeping program. Understanding honey bees in a warmer climate is a challenge Devan is very much looking forward to.