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Andrea Gruver

MS student

Major Adviser: Paul CaraDonna, PhD

Research interests: community ecology, urban ecology, entomology, plant-pollinator interactions, conservation biology, taxonomy.

Research project: Investigating the effect of urbanization on wild bees in Chicago, IL.


Current research:

My research focuses on understanding how urbanization may be influencing wild bee communities in Chicago, IL. With the growth of urban areas around the world, wild bees may be faced with new challenges, yet we don’t know the extent that urban areas impact wild bees. My research aims to address a variety of questions, such as: are there fewer bees or different bee species in in highly urban areas compared to natural areas? Do bees in highly urban areas have different traits (size, diet, nesting behavior) than those in natural areas? What landscape features (vegetation, bare ground) area associated with wild bee diversity?

Andrea in the field.

My research will help us understand how urban areas are shaping wild bee communities and help us determine what landscape features promote wild bee diversity in urban environments, some of which can be implemented in urban restoration projects. We also hope that this work will illuminate the amazing diversity of wild bees we have here in Chicago.

Bees collected in Chicago during the 2018 field season.


Grants, Honors, and Awards:

2019 National Science Foundation, Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)

2018 Northwestern University, Plant Biology and Conservation Research Award