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Current lab members


James Crall (PI)
Assistant Professor, Department of Entomology,UW-Madison
Affiliate Faculty, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies

email: james.crall [at]


Olivia Bernauer
USDA-NIFA Postdoctoral Fellow

Olivia is a USDA NIFA postdoctoral fellow who is studying how projected increases in atmospheric CO2 may affect the nutritional value of floral resources, bumble bee foraging behavior and preferences, as well as queen survival and physiology. She recently completed her PhD at the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment at Western Sydney University in Australia where she studied the pollination efficiency, foraging behavior, functional diversity, and natural history of the insect visitors to apple flowers in New South Wales. Before her PhD, Olivia completed her masters at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she studied bee and butterfly foraging preferences through a citizen science project. Olivia got her start working with pollinators during her undergraduate education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she studied the impacts of a common fungicide to bumble bee colony health and development. Her research interests include pollination biology, social insect biology, foraging behavior, and plant-pollinator interactions.


Jeremy Hemberger
Postdoctoral Fellow

Jeremy is an ecologist and entomologist interested in how insects respond to changes in the landscape - specifically those related to large-scale global changes in agriculture and climate. He's intersted in modern ecoinformatics approaches to explore questions and patterns related to insect ecology and global change and then use lab and field experimentation to test theories and develop more robust, causal associations between changes in the landscape and those in insect behavior, populations, and communities.


Matt Smith

Postdoctoral Fellow


Matt is a postdoctoral researcher who is passionate about understanding the variability and mechanisms of individual and collective behavioral responses to ecological stressors, currently focusing on bumble bee systems. Matt completed his B.S. in molecular biology and biochemistry at Michigan State, where his thesis focused on understanding the energetics of a photo-protective quenching mechanism in Arabidopsis. Matt then went on to complete his PhD at Harvard University under the mentorship of Dr. Benjamin de Bivort where his research focused on understanding individuality in odor coding, innate and learned behavior responses within isogenic Drosophila. After graduating he joined Google X as an AI Resident/researcher to focus on building software and hardware for remote sensing tools targeting insects and creating metrics to validate these tools. His research interests span topics of neuroethology of collective responses in social insects, idiosyncratic sensory perception, applied computer vision for ecological questions, and molecular mechanisms of variability in behavior.


Acacia Tang
Staff Researcher

Acacia is a researcher in the Crall lab working on several projects. During their time as a master’s student, they studied the relationship between the gut microbiome and the social network of bumblebees. In addition to carrying out lab experiments, they also developed a python algorithm to track bees with the use of BEEtag and OpenCV.


August Easton-Calabria
Graduate Student

I study collective behavior and colony development in bumblebees, and seek to understand colonies’ behavioral responses to both environmental and human-borne stressors, such as temperature extremes and pesticide exposure. Furthermore, I am curious as to how variation in traits of individuals within colonies can drive variation in colony-level performance at particularly stressful periods of development. I use emerging imaging technology to build behavioral devices to study colonies both in controlled laboratory settings and out in the field. I have spent a lot of time and effort rearing colonies from wild queens for my research, and have grown very fond of the art of (bumble)bee keeping


Anupreksha Jain
Graduate Student

I am a graduate student in the lab interested in exploring plant-pollinator interactions, how they may be affected by anthropogenic global change, and the implications for biodiversity conservation and sustainable food production. I am originally from India, but earned my BS in Biological Sciences at Cornell University, where I worked with Dr. Andre Kessler on the ecological and evolutionary consequences of herbivore-induced plant defenses. Outside of research, I love talking about my housing co-op, hanging out with my housemates, cooking and eating with them… you get the idea.


Grace Melone
Graduate Student

I am interested in the effects of heatwaves and fire on plant-insect interactions. I am most excited by trying to understand how these stressors differentially affect insects throughout ontogeny. I am studying effects of wildfire ash deposition on plant-herbivore interactions with Manduca sexta, and the effects of heatwaves on social and solitary bee biology and behavior. I am excited about using computer vision tools to study insect behavior, and applying molecular techniques to understand the mechanisms causing altered fitness. I’m passionate about science communication and increasing diversity in ecology. Outside of research I like taking long walks, talking about research, doing pottery, riding horses, and trying not to fall of my bike!


Madalyn Laskowski
Undergraduate researcher

My name is Madalyn Laskowski and I am a Junior obtaining my undergraduate degree in biology. I’ve worked in the Crall Lab for about a year and a half, and my main research interest is the effect that neonicotinoids have on Bombus Impatiens' nest building abilities and the overall health of the colony


Julia Prouse
Undergraduate researcher

I'm a freshman at UW-Madison majoring in biochemistry and applied economics. I'm interested in the individuality in behavior and learning in bumblebees, and how it impacts colony roles and adaptability to stressors.

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Julia Wiessing
Undergraduate researcher


I am an undergraduate student studying entomology and life science communication at UW-Madison. I'm interested in bumble-bee behaviour, pollinator interactions and scientific outreach.

Former lab members


Cassandra Pasadyn

Undergraduate Researcher

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