Wyatt A. Shell

Wyatt Shell '20G poses next to the carpenter bee nest he designed.

Advisor: Dr. Sandra Rehan

Biological Sciences: Integrative and Organismal Biological Sciences - PhD

Research Topic: Environmental and genetic signals of behavioral plasticity and social evolution

"I am broadly interested in understanding the evolutionary origins of eusociality, a highly derived and complex form of social organization and reproduction. To do this, I study facultatively social small carpenter bees (genus Ceratina), which represent evolutionary antecedents to the eusocial form. Facultatively social bees demonstrate multiple forms of sociality, and provide powerful models to empirically test social evolutionary theory. My dissertation research applies an interdisciplinary approach to address how variation in environmental factors, developmental processes, and molecular dynamics may influence evolutionary transitions in social complexity."