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Scott McArt, assistant professor, entomology

Academic focus: Pollinator health and ecology

Previous positions: Research scientist, Cornell, 2014-17; USDA NIFA postdoctoral fellow, biology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2012-14

Academic background: B.A., environmental and evolutionary biology, Dartmouth College, 2001; MSc, biology, University of Alaska, Anchorage, 2006; Ph.D., entomology, Cornell, 2012

Last books read: “Life on a Little Known Planet,” by Howard Ensign Evans; “A Sting in the Tale,” by Dave Goulson; “The Drawing of the Three,” by Stephen King

What do you do when not working? Play with my four kids (two daughters, two goat kids) and try to stay in running shape.

What gets you out of bed in the morning? Most of the factors contributing to declines in bee health (pesticide exposure, lack of floral resources, disease, inadequate management practices) are preventable. With targeted research efforts and educated stakeholders, regulatory agencies and public, we can make a difference.

Current research projects? Most of our research is focused on pesticide and pathogen stress experienced by wild and managed bees. Current projects in the lab include 1) Combining empirical data with network modeling to understand pathogen transmission in complex plant-pollinator networks, 2) Evaluating the relative importance of multiple factors (pesticides, pathogens, diet, landscape variables) on bumble bee and honey bee colony performance, 3) Assessing the impact of fungicides on bumble bee and honey bee health and performance, and 4) Understanding how pesticides and pathogens influence the delivery of pollination services to agriculturally important NY crops.

Courses you’re most looking forward to teaching? I teach several workshops, such as queen rearing for beekeepers, pest/pathogen identification for beekeepers, and how to create a pollinator-friendly wildflower garden. This fall I’m looking forward to teaching veterinarians about honey bees at the NYS vet conference. Having veterinarians diagnose honey bee diseases and prescribe medications is new in 2017. Though there’s plenty of work that needs to be done regarding training, this is an excellent development in terms of “herd health” for bees.

What most excites you about Cornell CALS? The Land-Grant mission and ability to interact with incredibly engaged stakeholders is inspiring on a daily basis. 

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