Olav Rueppell, Professor | UNCG Biology

Olav Rueppell, Professor

Olav RueppellResearch:

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.

Recent Publications:

Heinze J., Rueppell O. (2014) The frequency of multi-queen colonies increases with altitude in a Nearctic ant. Ecological Entomology, 39: 527–529. doi: 10.1111/een.12119

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

Rueppell O., Hayworth* M.K., Ross* N.P. (2010) Altruistic self-removal of health-compromised honey bee workers from their hive.
Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 23: 1538-1546. doi:10.1111/j.1420-9101.2010.02022.x

Meznar* E.R., Gadau J., Koeniger N., Rueppell O. (2010) Comparative linkage mapping suggests a high recombination rate in all honey bees. Journal of Heredity, 101: S118-S126. doi:10.1093/jhered/esq002


Principles of Biology I Lecture (BIO 111)
Principles of Biology II Lab (BIO 112L)
Biology of the Invertebrates (BIO 341)
Biology of the Invertebrates Lab (BIO 341L)
Entomology (BIO 541)
Biology of Aging (BIO 536)
Molecular Biological Approaches to Research (BIO 596)


206 Eberhart Building
(336) 256-2591

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