In the spirit of gratitude: We could not be more grateful for the outpouring of support to honor PAm’s founding leader, Christi Heintz, with scholarships for graduate students doing bee health research. We thank the donors who made this scholarship possible, along with additional funding from Costco Canada and Project Apis m., we are pleased to announce the winner of the CHMA scholarship and three runners up. All awardees demonstrated Christi’s spirit of curiosity, collaboration, and fearlessness. You can read Christi’s memorial here.
Awards: 12 highly qualified and especially creative individuals submitted applications, which included a 3-minute video. A review panel including a 6-member panel of PAm staff and board members who worked directly with Christi during her tenure, as well as Christi’s daughter, Tara McCall, weighed every application and made the selections for the award. Tara and her brother, Kevin Heintz were able to give the good news to the winners over the phone.
“This is so awesome that the industry respected Christi’s contribution so much that they can help fund 4 students... I applaud the industry, PAm, all the contributors and these sponsored students for continued success in bee research” -Mike Heintz, husband of Christi Heintz.
Winner: Jesse Tabor, Utah State University
Advised by: Dr. Jonathan B. Koch, United States Department of Agriculture, and Joseph Wilson, Utah State University
“There is a critical need to examine floral resource availability across public lands to identify the most appropriate composition of bee pasture for commercial honeybees and wild bees”- Jesse Tabor
Jesse is a graduate student at Utah State University pursuing his M.S. in Biology. He received his B.A. in Geography at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. For his undergraduate thesis, he applied species distribution models to determine the effects of climate change on invasive bee distributions. Jesse’s research interests include biodiversity conservation, pollination ecology, biogeography and remote sensing. For his graduate thesis, Jesse will be using UAS technology to examine floral resource availability across public lands to identify the composition of bee pasture for managed honey bees and wild native bees. His research on floral resource availability aims to benefit beekeepers, conservationists, and land managers by providing a framework on how to manage apiaries on public lands.
First Runner up: Abigail Chapman, University of British Columbia, Awarded $15,000
Advised by: Leonard Foster, University of British Columbia
“Collaboration is inextricably tied to beekeeping, you see it in mentorships in the way that knowledge is shared and passed down, and colleagues working together in the field….and this much deeper sense of collaboration between the bees themselves…” - Abigail Chapman
Abbi is in her second year of graduate studies in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of British Columbia (UBC). She is supervised by Dr. Leonard Foster, where she started working during her Bachelor’s degree. She has always had a fascination with honey bees, but it wasn’t until joining this lab that she was able to work with them and she is incredibly grateful to all the researchers and beekeepers that she has learned from the past 4 years. Her graduate project is focused on identifying the physiological impacts of infection on honey bee queens and investigating the trade-off between reproduction and immunity. Abbi grew up in Colorado Springs, CO and is passionate about adventuring in the outdoors - especially backcountry skiing, hiking, backpacking, and cycling.
Runner up: Michael Zabrodski, University of Saskatchewan, Awarded $10,000
Advised by: Dr. Elemir Simko, University of Saskatchewan
“Why am I passionate about this project? it’s practical and builds needed bridges between beekeepers, apicultural specialists, and the veterinary profession…” -Michael Zabrodski
Michael graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree with Honors in Animal Biology from the University of Alberta in 2010, and pursued a career in veterinary medicine shortly thereafter, graduating as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Calgary in 2015. Michael spent several years in the Canadian Maritimes practicing as a small animal veterinarian before returning to the Canadian Prairies to pursue further training and specialization in anatomic pathology. He began a combined Master of Science program with diagnostic training at the University of Saskatchewan in 2018, where he is currently working towards obtaining board certification as a veterinary anatomic pathologist and completing his Masters degree on American foulbrood disease in honey bees. As a veterinarian working in the field of honey bee health, he is uniquely positioned to establish and strengthen collaborative connections between the veterinary profession and beekeepers in the development of evidence-based approaches to control American foulbrood disease.
Runner up: Rogan Tokach, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Awarded $10,000
Advised by: Dr. Judy Wu-Smart and Dr. Autumn Smart,
University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
“I hope to play a role in improving honey bee health in the future as I look to grow as a researcher” -Rogan Tokach
Rogan Tokach is from Abilene, KS, and recently graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in Agronomy and minors in Entomology and Plant Pathology. This summer he began his master's program at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln focusing on how stored pollen and nectar, when contaminated with pesticides, impacts rearing of replacement queens. Beekeeping has been a passion for Rogan since he got his first colony ten years ago. In the future, he looks forward to performing research focused on improving honey bee health with an emphasis on toxicology. When not working with bees, Rogan enjoys hiking, running, and anything sports related.
Thank you again to the many donors who contributed to this award! From PAm, we sincerely hope everyone enjoys the holiday season.