Sandra M. Rehan, Ph.D.

Sandra M. Rehan, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Educational Background:

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, University of Pennsylvania
Research Fellow, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Scholar, Flinders University of South Australia
Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution, Brock University

Courses Taught:

ZOOL 736/836 Genes and Behavior

ZOOL 690 Evolution

General Area of Interest and/or Specialty:

Animal Behavior, Comparative Genomics, Evolution, Molecular Phylogenetics, Sociobiology

Description of Current Research and/or Professional Activities:

The lab research focuses on social evolution and genetics. We study bees to understand the genetic underpinnings and ecological constraints selecting for social behavior. This research includes:

  • Field and lab experiments in New England and Australia to understand the behavior and ecology of native bees
  • Genomics to understand relatedness and gene expression of individuals in social groups
  • Molecular phylogeny to understand bee biodiversity, historical biogeography, as well as the age and origin of sociality

Selected Publications:

Toth AL, Rehan SM (2017) Molecular Evolution of insect sociality: an eco-evo-devo perspective. Annual Review of Entomology. 62:419-442

Durant DR, Berens AJ, Toth AL, Rehan SM (2016) Transcriptional profiling of overwintering gene expression in the small carpenter bee, Ceratina calcarataApidologie. 47:572-582 

Lawson SP, Ciaccio KN, Rehan SM (2016) Maternal manipulation of pollen provisions affects worker production in a small carpenter bee. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 70:1891-1900

McFrederick QS, Rehan SM (2016) Characterization of pollen and bacterial community composition in brood provisions of a small carpenter bee. Molecular Ecology. 25:2302-2311

Rehan SM, Glastad KM, Lawson SP, Hunt BG (2016) The genome and methylome of a subsocial small carpenter bee, Ceratina calcarata. Genome Biology and Evolution. 8:1401-1410

Shell WA, Rehan SM (2016) Recent and rapid diversification of the small carpenter bees in eastern North America. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 117:633-645

Tucker EM, Rehan SM (2016) Wild bee pollination networks in northern New England. Journal of Insect Conservation. 20:325–337

Withee JR, Rehan SM (2016) Cumulative effects of body size and social experience on aggressive behaviour in a subsocial bee. Behaviour. 153:1365-1385

Rehan SM, Toth AL (2015) Climbing the social ladder: molecular evolution of sociality. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. 30:426-433 

Rehan SM, Schwarz MP (2015) A few steps forward and no steps back: long-distance dispersal patterns in small carpenter bees suggest major barriers to back-dispersal. Journal of Biogeography. 42:485-494

Rehan SM, Bulova SJ, O'Donnell S (2015) Cumulative effects of foraging behaviour and social dominance on brain development in a facultatively social bee (Ceratina australensis). Brain, Behavior and Evolution. 85:117-124

Rehan SM, Berens AJ, Toth AL (2014) At the brink of eusociality: transcriptomic correlates of worker behavior in a small carpenter bee. BMC Evolutionary Biology. 14:260

Rehan SM, Richards MH, Adams M, Schwarz MP (2014) The costs and benefits of sociality in a facultatively social bee. Animal Behaviour. 97:77-85

Rehan SM, Leys R, Schwarz MP (2013) First evidence for a massive extinction event affecting bees close to the K-T boundary. PLOS One. 8:e76683

For a full list of publications please visit the lab website at

Sandra Rehan
Spaulding Hall Rm 258
Durham, NH 03824