Brosi Lab

Understanding the causes and implications of native and managed bee declines.

Carolyn Ayers

PhD studentcarolyn_picture

Population Biology, Ecology, Evolution Program


Research Interests

The effects of sub-lethal pesticide exposure on bee foraging behavior: I am interested in examining the effects of field-realistic doses of neonicotinoid pesticides on bee foraging behaviors, and the implications for plant pollination.

Individual-based Modeling for Bee Foraging Behavior: I am interested in using individual-based models to study the mechanisms of floral fidelity, traplining, and optimal route selection in bees.


The College of William and Mary (Aug 2007 – Jan 2011); Williamsburg, VA

Bachelor of Science Degree

Biology Major/Mathematics Minor

Advisers:  Randy Chambers, Jianjun Paul Tian

Senior Honors Thesis:  A Population Model for the Diamondback Terrapin:  Implications for Conservation Management

I performed a mark-recapture study of a terrapin population to estimate the size and age structure of the population.  I created a discrete time model to analyze the population dynamics of the diamondback terrapin to determine how different population pressures affect the long-term survival of the species.  I successfully defended my undergraduate thesis on December 3 2010.

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (Jan – May 2009); Minneapolis, MN

Minnesota Studies in International Development

Study Abroad in Kenya

Emory University (Aug 2011 – Present); Atlanta, GA

Population Biology, Ecology, and Evolution

Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Adviser:  Berry Brosi

Honors and Awards

Biomathematics Summer Fellowship (2009)

Computational Science training for Undergraduates in the Mathematical Sciences (CSUMS)

Summer Research Grant (2010)

Pi Mu Epsilon Mathematics National Honor Society Member (2010)

William and Mary Biology Departmental Honors (2010)

Honorable Mention from NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (2012 and 2013)

Conference Participation

Entomological Society of America Meeting 2012

Student Talk

Title:  “Individual-Based Model of Bee Foraging Behavior:  Traplining as an Emergent Property of Simple Decision Rules”

Work and Volunteer Experience

Internship at Maua Methodist Hospital in Maua, Kenya (March – May 2009)

Volunteer Math and Science Teacher at a Primary School in Kibera, Kenya (Jan – March 2009)

Internship at Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute in Mombasa (Feb – Jul 2011)

I participated in field studies examining the effects of climate change on mangrove habitat and survival.


Solo-status Student Pilot

Clarinet Player

Swing Dancing/Argentinian Tango