Congratulations to Ph.D. candidate Pierre Lau as he received the 2019 Jeffery P. LaFage Student Award for Applied Research on Social Insects during the Entomological Society of America annual meeting in St. Louis.
Lau is completing his Ph.D. research at Texas A&M under the direction of Dr. Juliana Rangel where his doctoral work is focused on how to improve honey bee nutrition, with a focus on bees’ preferences for specific ratios of protein-to-lipid within pollen resources.
Lau’s findings so far suggest that bee pollen-to-lipid ratio preferences are substantially different from the ratios found in commercially-available pollen substitutes, which have traditionally been touted as being “high protein” to promote brood rearing.
In addition, Lau has explored variation in the types of pollen collected by bees at different places across the U.S.; characterized bee salt preferences; and developed an artificial honey bee diet that will set the stage for future tests of how bee diet nutrient content affects honey bee fitness.
Lau’s letter writers note that in addition to his critical research work focused on pollen, he is highly enthusiastic about education and outreach, helping beekeepers connect the dots between nutrition and colony health.
Lau holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Systems from the University of California, San Diego.
The Jeffery P. La Fage Student Award for Applied Research on Social Insects recognizes a graduate student for distinguished research and scholarly activity on social insects, with an emphasis on applied projects. The award consists of a plaque and an honorarium.