PhD student (from October 2021)
Carolina is a biologist from the National University of Colombia. She has been passionate about sensory ecology in bees since she was an undergrad student. In 2019 she was part of a project at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama intended to understand the immune trade-offs associated with sociality in bees. In 2020 she was invited back to Barro Colorado Island with a Hollister Smith award to develop her project to address the relationship between olfactory structures and sociality in the sweat bee Megalopta genalis. Due to her experiences in Panama, she is trained to perform behavioral experiments and carry out electrophysiology assays. Currently, she has been funded by DAAD to participate in an internship at Wuerzburg University in the lab of Prof. Dr. Thomas Schmitt. Carolina will conduct GC/MS analysis of volatiles from flowers that are visited by several species of Bumble Bees. The results collected in this internship will be used for her Ph.D. project since Carolina will join the Insect Neuro Lab as a Ph.D. student to study how environmental stress affects the smell preferences of Bumble Bees.