My scientific interest focuses on causes and consequences of social evolution, and I use honey bees as models to evaluate these scientific problems at the genetic, cellular, individual and societal level of biological organization. Accordingly, my research methods comprise bioinformatics, genetic analyses, studies of cells, behavioral and physiological observations and experiments, and demographic and ecological approaches. Social insects fascinate me because their societies add an interesting level of complexity, many social insects groups have experienced a broad ecological success and some species are very important to humans. Some specific current research projects include studies of honey be reproductive traits in the context of the reproductive ground plan hypothesis of social evolution, genetic characterizations of complex traits that are important in social organization, the investigation of honey bee intestinal stem cells, several biodemographic studies of aging, and comparative genomics projects that use Asian honey bee species to find resistance mechanisms to Varroa mites and investigate social genome structure, focusing on the exceptional recombination rates of social insects.
Ross, R.C., DeFelice D.S., Hunt, J.G., Ihle, K.E., Amdam, G.V., Rueppel, O. (2015) Genomic correlates of recombination rate and its variability across eight recombination maps in the western honey bee (Apis mellifera L.). BMC Genomics 16:107. doi: 10.1186/s12864-015-1281-2
Ihle K.E., Rueppell O., Huang Z.Y., Wang Y., Fondrk M.K., Page R.E., Amdam G.V. (2015) Genetic architecture of a hormonal response to gene knockdown in honey bees. Journal of Heredity, 106: 155-165.
Ross C., Rychtar J., Rueppell O. (2015) A structured population model suggests that long life and post-reproductive lifespan promote the evolution of cooperation. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 369:85-94.
Forkpah C., Dixon L.R., Fahrbach S.E., Rueppell O. (2014) Xenobiotic effects on intestinal stem cell proliferation in adult honey bee (Apis mellifera L) workers. PLoS ONE, 9(3): e91180. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0091180.
Rueppell O. (2014) The architecture of the pollen hoarding syndrome in honey bees: Implications for understanding social evolution, behavioral syndromes, and selective breeding. Apidologie, 45:364-374. doi: 10.1007/s13592-013-0244-3
Kuster R.D., Boncristiani H.F., Rueppell O. (2014) Immunogene and viral transcript dynamics during parasitic Varroa destructor (Anderson) mite infection of developing honey bee (Apis mellifera L) pupae. Journal of Experimental Biology, 217: 1710-1718. doi:10.1242/jeb.097766.
Dixon L. R.*, Kuster R.D.*, Rueppell O. (2014) Reproduction, social behavior, and aging trajectories in honey bee workers. AGE, 36, 89-101. doi:10.1007/s11357-013-9546-7.
Boncristiani H.F., Evans J.D., Chen Y., Pettis J., Murphy C., Lopez D.L., Simone-Finstroem M.#, Strand M., Tarpy D.R., Rueppell O. (2013) In-vitro infection of pupae with Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus suggests variation for susceptibility and disturbance of transcriptional homeostasis in honey bees (Apis mellifera). PLoS One, 8(9): e73429. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0073429.
Rueppell O., Meier S.*, Deutsch R. (2013) Multiple mating but not recombination causes quantitative increase in offspring genetic diversity for varying genetic architectures. PLoS One, 7(10): e47220. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0047220.
Page R.E., Fondrk M.K., Rueppell O. (2012) Complex pleiotropy characterizes the pollen hoarding syndrome in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 66: 1459-1466. doi:10.1007/s00265-012-1400-x.
Page R.E., Rueppell O., Amdam G.V. (2012) Genetics of reproduction and regulation of honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) social behavior. Annual Review of Genetics, 46: 97-119. doi:10.1146/annurev-genet-110711-155610
Rueppell, O., Phaincharoen, M., Kuster, R.D., Tingek, S. (2011) Cross-species correlation between queen mating numbers and worker ovary sizes suggests kin conflict may influence ovary size evolution in honeybees. Naturwissenschaften, 98: 795-799. doi:10.1007/s00114-011-0822-z
Willard L.E., Hayes A.M., Wallrichs M.A., Rueppell, O. (2011)Food manipulation in honey bees induces physiological responses at the individual and colony level. Apidologie, 42:508-518. doi:10.1007/s13592-011-0006-z
Graham, A.M., Munday, M.D., Kaftanoglu, O., Page, R.E. JR., Amdam, G.V., Rueppell, O. (2011) Support for the reproductive ground plan hypothesis of social evolution and major QTL for ovary traits of Africanized worker honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). BMC Evolutionary Biology, 11: 95. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-11-95.
Rueppell O., Metheny J.D., Linksvayer T.A., Fondrk M.K., Page R.E. Jr., Amdam G.V. (2011) Genetic architecture of ovary size and asymmetry in European honeybee workers. Journal of Heredity, 106: 894-903. doi:10.1038/hdy.2010.138, PMID: 21048673