Senior Lecturer, School of Integrative Plant Science Horticulture Section
Heather Grab delivers best practices for the cultivation and processing of hemp to professionals in Cornell's Hemp Science MPS program. She works with plant breeders, pathologists, biochemists, extension professionals, regulatory officials and industry partners in New York state and across the globe to translate the latest science and industry insights into a curriculum that covers hemp from soil to sale.
She earned her PhD in Entomology at Cornell working on sustainable farming practices including integrated pest management, wildflower plantings and crop diversification that promote services provided by beneficial insects. As a USDA NIFA Postdoctoral Associate she explored the impact of farming practices on pollinator communities on farms including bees that visit hemp. Her ongoing research in collaboration with researchers at Cornell, Virginia Tech and the USDA uses remote-sensing, large scale community datasets and advanced analytical methods to create data driven solutions for challenges at the interface of natural resource conservation and agriculture.
To learn more about Heather’s research and interests visit landscape-agroecology.com
Industrial hemp production and processing
- PLSCI 5015 Hemp Production Systems
- PLSCI 2060 Hemp Processing
- ENTO 4940 Advances Statistical Methods in Ecology & Entomology
- VTPMD 6105 Biostatistics in Public Health Science
Heather mentors undergraduate students in honors research and graduate students in the Hemp Science MPS program with the goal of developing students as a whole person. She works with Hemp Science MPS students to cultivate key competencies based on student’s career interests by building a custom course schedule and developing a capstone project that aligns their areas of interest. Students are encouraged to identify and work with industry partners to build a capstone project that fosters professional skill development through the creation of solutions to real-world problems.
Heather’s students have worked with industry partners to
- explore cooperative models of fiber hemp production in Italy
- develop new applications for potable hplc platforms for chemotyping cannabis early in development
- evaluate the impact of frost and cold stress on Cannabis development and cannabinoid profiles
- determine how seeding density influences weed pressure and fiber quality
- develop production guidelines for controlled environment hemp production
Her students have found careers at government agencies, cultivation facilities, and in academic research.
Media and Extension
- Cannabis Cum Laude Podcast - Dr. Heather Grab discusses the relationship between hemp and bees
- Hemp Today - Working her own farm helps keep Cornell hemp researcher grounded
- Capital Press - Hemp creates buzz among pollinators
- Two Bees in a Podcast - Cannabis sativa & bee health
- 2021 Hemp Research Team Field Day - The Hemp MPS Program (1:38:27)
Heather’s most updated publication list can be found on her google scholar profile
- Alexandridis, N., Marion, G., Chaplin-Kramer, R., Dainese, M., Ekroos, J., Grab, H., ... & Clough, Y. (2021). Models of natural pest control: Towards predictions across agricultural landscapes. Biological Control, 104761.
- Perez-Alvarez, R., Grab, H., Polyakov, A., & Poveda, K. (2021). Landscape composition mediates the relationship between predator body size and pest control. Ecological Applications, e2365.
- Figueroa, L. L., Compton, S., Grab, H., & McArt, S. H. (2021). Functional traits linked to pathogen prevalence in wild bee communities. Scientific reports, 11(1), 1-12
- Schroeder, H., Grab, H., Kessler, A., & Poveda, K. (2020). Human mediated land use change drives intraspecific plant trait variation. Frontiers in Plant Science, 11, 2260.
- Krichilsky, E., Centrella, M., Eitzer, B., Danforth, B., Poveda, K., & Grab, H. (2020). Landscape Composition and Fungicide Exposure Influence Host–Pathogen Dynamics in a Solitary Bee. Environ.Entomology.
- Albrecht, M., Kleijn, D., Williams, N. M., Tschumi, M., ...Grab, H. ... & Ganser, D. (2020). The effectiveness of flower strips and hedgerows on pest control, pollination services and crop yield: a quantitative synthesis. Ecology letters. 23 (10), 1488-1498
- Figueroa, L., Grab, H., Ng, W.H., Graystock, P., McFrederick, Q., & S. McArt (2020) Landscape simplification shapes pathogen prevalence in plant-pollinator networks. Ecology Letters.
- Flicker, N. R., Poveda, K., & Grab, H. (2020). The bee community of Cannabis sativa and corresponding effects of landscape composition. Environ. Entomology. 49 (1), 197-202
- Grab, H., J. Brokaw, E. Anderson, L. Gedlinske, J. Gibbs, J. Wilson, G. Loeb, R. Isaacs, and K. Poveda. (2019). Habitat enhancements rescue bee body size from the negative effects of landscape simplification. Journal of Applied Ecology, 56 (9): 2144-2154.
- Dainese, M., Martin, E. A., Aizen, M., Albrecht, M., Bartomeus, I., Bommarco, R., ...Grab, H., ... & Ghazoul, J. (2019). A global synthesis reveals biodiversity-mediated benefits for crop production. Science Advances, 5, (10): eaax0121.
- Grab, H., Branstetter, M., Amon*, N., Blitzer, E., Park, M., Loeb, G., Poveda, K., & B.N. Danforth (2019) Agriculturally dominated landscapes reduce bee phylogenetic diversity and crop pollination. Science 363 (6424), 282-284
- Murray, E; J. Burand, N. Trikoz, H. Grab & B. Danforth. (2018) Infection patterns of three viruses shared in honeybees and native bees, with a worldwide phylogeny of black queen cell virus. Environmental Microbiology doi:10.1111/1462-2920.14501
- Karp, D., Chaplin-Kramer, R., Meehan, T., Martin, E., DeClerck, F., Grab, H., .... (2018) Crop pests and predators exhibit inconsistent responses to surrounding landscape composition. PNAS 115:33, E7863–E7870
- Grab, H., Danforth, B.N., Poveda, K. & G. Loeb (2018) Landscape shifts the balance of costs and benefits from wildflower borders on multiple ecosystem services. Proc. R. Soc. B 285: 20181102. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2018.1102
- Grab, H., Danforth, B.N., Poveda, K. & G. Loeb (2017) Landscape influences classical biological control and crop yield. Ecological Applications. 28 (2), 348-355
- McCabe, E.A., Loeb, G.M, and H. Grab (2017) Responses of crop pests and natural enemies to wildflower borders depends on functional group. Insects. 8 (3), 73
- Grab, H., Blitzer, E.J., Danforth, B.N. Loeb, G & Poveda, K. (2017) Spillover of pollinators between crops: competition or facilitation. Scientific Reports 7, 45296
- Lichtenberg, E.M., Kennedy, C.M., Kremen, C., Batáry, P., Berendse, F., Bommarco, R., Bosque-Pérez, N.A., Carvalheiro, L.G., Snyder, W.E., Williams, N.M., Winfree, R, ..., H. Connelly, et al. (2017) A global synthesis of the effects of diversified farming systems on arthropod diversity at field and landscape scales. Global Change Biology. 23 (11), 4946- 4957-1784
- Wallingford, A.K., H. Connelly, G. Dore Brind’Amour, M.T. Boucher, A. Mafra-Neto, and G.M. Loeb (2016) Field evaluation of an oviposition deterrent for management of spotted-wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii, and potential nontarget effects. Journal of Econ. Entom.: 109 (4), 1779-1784
- Renauld, M., Hutchinson, A., Loeb, G., Poveda, K & H. Connelly (2016) Landscape simplification constrains adult size in a native ground nesting bee. PLOS One 11(3), e0150946.
- Connelly, H., Poveda, K & Loeb, G. (2015) Landscape simplification decreases wild bee pollination services to strawberry. Agriculture, Ecosystems and the Environment 211, 51-56
119 Plant Science Building
Ithaca, NY 14853
heathergrab [at] cornell.edu
- Ph.D., Cornell University 2017
- B.S., Ursinus College 2011
Heather in the news
A Cornell study that revealed commercial eastern common bumblebee hives pose a threat to their wild counterparts has led one major pollination company to quickly adapt the bumblebee hive boxes they ship to growers.
- Department of Entomology
- School of Integrative Plant Science
A new study finds that nest boxes of commercial eastern common bumblebees (Bombus impatiens) lead to the deaths of wild queens who are attracted to the brightly colored hives.
- Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station
- Department of Entomology
- School of Integrative Plant Science