Graduate Students

Tia BusenitzKatya "Tia" Busenitz
Hometown: Asheville, NC
Degree: Pre-medical Biology, WCU
Current Degree: MS in Entomology, UNL 
Lab Focus
: Honey bee physiology

Jae HornJae HornHometown:  Emporia, KS

Previous Degree: B.S. in Biology with a concentration in Healthcare and a minor in Physical Science, Emporia State University, KS.< Current Degree: M.S. in Entomology at the University of Nebraska-LIncoln Lab Focus:

Shelby KittleShelby Kittle
Hometown: Ord, NE

Previous Degree: B.S. in Applied Science (with a focus on agriculture education)

Current Degree: M.S. in Entomology (with a focus on honey bee health)
Lab Focus: I joined the lab as an undergrad technician in fall of 2018. I loved working with the beekeepers and the education program so much that I decided I wanted to stick around! I'm currently working on two applied research projects in the hopes that I can provide direct benefit to beekeepers.

Grace Carter
Spring, TX
Outreach/ Extension Coordinator 

Previous Degree: Child, Youth and Family Studies with a Sociology minor 

Lab Focus: I started working at the bee lab as an undergraduate technicain in January of 2021, as of January of 2024 I have taken on the role of outreach/extension coodinator working with people of all ages to learn about bees! My Dad and I have been keeping bees off and on the past 15 years in Texas and he is the one that sparked my intial interest into the field! 

Undergraduate Students
Andre Hayes, UNL Bee Lab employeeAndres Hayes
Hometown: Cordoba, Argentina/Kearney, Nebraska
Current Degree: Fisheries and wildlife with a focus in conservation biology
Lab Focus: In 2018 I was working on various conservation initiatives in the Zambezi Delta of Mozambique (Southern Africa) when I was tasked with beginning and managing a community beekeeping project.  I had no prior knowledge of bees but quickly realized how interesting and important they are and I became fascinated by them.  I started working as an undergrad technician at the UNL Bee Lab in February 2022 and look forward to learning more about both honey and native bees.  I'm also interested about the research that is done to further our knowledge and in turn our conservation and management tactics. Apart from learning about bees and wildlife conservation, I am interested in agriculture, motorcycles, traveling, and sports.
Jaevyn HoytJaevyn Hoyt
Hometown: Lincoln, NE
Current Degree: Emerging media arts major with an Entomology minor
Lab Focus: I'm a technical artist fascinated by the intersections between art & science. My interest in the natural world & science communication is what led me to start working at the Beelab in the summer of 2023. I'm interested in using my skills to bring science communication to games & media
Paige MyersPaige Myers
Hometown: Lincoln, NE
Degree:  Current UNL student majoring in Chemistry, working on minors in Mathematics and Insect Science
Lab Focus: I joined the bee lab as an undergraduate technician in October 2021. I'm fascinated with bees, especially native species, and in the future I want to work in the conservation of bumblebees and other native species.
Clara O'BrienClara O'Brien
Hometown: Chestertown, MD
Current Degree:  Current UNL student majoring in Insect Science
Lab Focus: Backyard Beekeeper for 6 years starting in 2016, managed feral and Russian bee hives. I joined the bee lab as an undergraduate technician in September 2022. I am fascinated with wild bees and honey bees and want to gain experience in wild bee conservation and honey bee management.

Desiree Rousseau, UNL Bee LabDesiree Rousseau
Hometown: Hastings, NE
Current Degree: Majoring in Insect Science with a minor in Biochemistry.
Lab Focus: I started at the lab in October 2023, and I love checking on the hives and learning more about bees. I also help care for a colony of Black Soldier Flies outside of the lab! 
Emma Knezevic
Hometown: Lone Tree, CO
Current Degree: Bachelors in Science in Insect Science with minors in Fisheries and Wildlife and Environmental Education
Lab Focus: I joined the bee lab as an undergraduate technician in February 2022 as a freshman. My favorite aspect of working at the lab though are our scientific outreach events where we engage with community members on insect biology and conservation, focusing on pollinators and bees. During the 2024-2025 summer and academic year period I have been co-leading a research project on bumble bee health when exposed to pesticides with fellow student and technician Paige Myers. Outside of the lab I enjoy leading the UNL Insect Science Club and an elementary school bug club in Lincoln. Apart from my buggy interests I am a member of the UNL Ballroom Dance Company and have 2 orange kittens.

Nikki Klosterman
Hometown: Lincoln,NE
Current Degree: Fisheries and Wildlife with a emphasis in Conservation Biology
Lab Focus: I began working in the bee lab in the fall of 2023 after helping the bee lab a few times during a summer internship with Nebraska OneHealth. I love learning about the bees and working with them, and I want to focus on either bees or bird conservation in the future!
Haley Fleetwood:
Hometown: Newman Grove, NE
Current Degree: Forensic Science and Insect Science majors with a minor in Chemistry
Lab Focus: I joined the Bee Lab as an Undergraduate technician in February 2023. I am interested in bee toxicology in the future, and the Bee Lab provides an excellent opportunity to gain hands-on experience working with bees and is a fun way to learn more about them. 
Carolyn Almonte:
Hometown: Burlington Township, NJ
Current Degree: Insect Science
Lab Focus: I started working at the bee lab in the Fall of 2023. I love working with the bees directly, whether it be doing varroa rolls or general hive checks. Observing the hives, even for a little while, is extremely fascinating and you learn so much! I also love making art, baking, and cooking on my own time.
Shaine Dailey: 
Hometown: Algonquin, IL
Current Degree: BS Anthropology
Lab Focus: I joined the lab at the start of last year (2023) and help out with data and lab upkeep. I had joined the lab because I enjoyed the Entomology course I took and figured I would benefit in the future from getting a feel for lab work.

Rogan Tokach with honey beesRogan Tokach
Hometown: Abilene, KS
Degree at UNL: MS in Entomology, UNL
Previous Degree:
 B.S. in Agronomy, KSU
Lab Focus: Honey bee conservation, ecology & education
Rogan is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Entomology at Auburn University. 

Courtney Wallner

Courtney Wallner
Lake in the Hills, Illinois
Major: Majored in Insect Science and Pre-Veterinary Medicine
Years: 2017-2021
Courtney is currently attending veterinary school and hopes to further incorporate honey bee/arthropod medicine into veterinary medicine. She has a specific interest in conservation and habitat restoration, for both vertebrates and invertebrates.

Edith IkuzeEdith Ikuze
Kigali, Rwanda
Years: 2020-2021
Previous Degree: She earned her bachelor's degree from UNL in Integrated Science with minors in Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Insect Science in May 2022. 
Current Degree: Edith is currently a graduate student seeking an MS in Entomology with the Plant-Insect Interactions Lab. 

Claire Gillespie
Hometown: Papillion, NE
Degree: Plant and Landscape Systems and Horticulture

Madison King

Madison King
Hometown: San Diego, CA
Degree: Current UNL student studying biology with a minor in poultry science
Lab Focus: Joined the lab as an undergraduate technician May 2019. Working toward developing a UCARE research project and discovering more about bees. In the future, I plan to work as a public health veterinarian for the Army. 2019-2022

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