Sandra Rehan

Sandra Rehan

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


  • Ph.D., Ecology and Evolution, Brock University
  • B.S., Brock University

Courses Taught

  • BIOL 999: Doctoral Dissertation Research
  • INCO 590: Rsrch Exp/Biological Sciences
  • INCO 790: Adv Rsrch Exp/Biological Sci
  • LSA 950: Scientific Communication
  • ZOOL 690: Evolution
  • ZOOL 736: Genes and Behavior
  • ZOOL 997: Sem/Topics Ecology & Evolution
  • ZOOL 999: Doctoral Research

Selected Publications

Shell, W. A., & Rehan, S. M. (2019). Invasive range expansion of the small carpenter bee, Ceratina dentipes (Hymenoptera: Apidae) into Hawaii with implications for native endangered species displacement. Biological Invasions, 21(4), 1155-1166. doi:10.1007/s10530-018-1892-z

Arsenault, S. V., Hunt, B. G., & Rehan, S. M. (2018). The effect of maternal care on gene expression and DNA methylation in a subsocial bee. Nature Communications, 9(1). doi:10.1038/s41467-018-05903-0

Groom, S. V. C., & Rehan, S. M. (2018). Climate-mediated behavioural variability in facultatively social bees. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 125(1), 165-170. doi:10.1093/biolinnean/bly101

Lawson, S. P., Shell, W. A., Lombard, S. S., & Rehan, S. M. (2018). Climatic variation across a latitudinal gradient affect phenology and group size, but not social complexity in small carpenter bees. Insectes Sociaux, 65(3), 483-492. doi:10.1007/s00040-018-0635-6

Oppenheimer, R. L., Shell, W. A., & Rehan, S. M. (2018). Phylogeography and population genetics of the Australian small carpenter bee, Ceratina australensis. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 124(4), 747-755. doi:10.1093/biolinnean/bly070

Toth, A. L., & Rehan, S. M. (2017). Molecular Evolution of Insect Sociality: An Eco-Evo-Devo Perspective. Annual Review of Entomology, 62(1), 419-442. doi:10.1146/annurev-ento-031616-035601

Rehan, S. M., & Toth, A. L. (2015). Climbing the social ladder: the molecular evolution of sociality. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 30(7), 426-433. doi:10.1016/j.tree.2015.05.004

Rehan, S. M., & Sheffield, C. S. (2011). Morphological and molecular delineation of a new species in the Ceratina dupla species-group (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Xylocopinae) of eastern North America. ZOOTAXA, (2873), 35-50. Retrieved from

Rehan, S. M., & Richards, M. H. (2010). Nesting biology and subsociality in Ceratina calcarata (Hymenoptera: Apidae). The Canadian Entomologist, 142(01), 65-74. doi:10.4039/n09-056

Rehan, S. M., Leys, R., & Schwarz, M. P. (n.d.). A Mid-Cretaceous Origin of Sociality in Xylocopine Bees with Only Two Origins of True Worker Castes Indicates Severe Barriers to Eusociality. PLoS ONE, 7(4), e34690. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0034690

Most Cited Publications