News | Public Engagement

UT Austin became a Bee Campus USA June 2, 2020. Scroll down to Public Engagement.

June 21, 2020 the UT Biodiversity Center posted this blog documenting leaf-cutter bees making their nests. Check it out!

BBC Science in Action radio interview of Dr. Shalene Jha  “Learning about bees through paternity tests for fruits” April 5, 2018

A Native Prairie Restoration for Pollinators Project, that Dr. Elinor Lichtenberg, Dr. Shalene Jha (UT Austin) and Dr. Kristen Baum (Oklahoma State) collaborate on, was written up in the Herald Democrat in January 2018.

The Daily Texan, The University of Texas at Austin; Small bees can pull their own weight in pollination Nov. 16, 2017:

UT News, The University of Texas at Austin; Study of Secret Sex Lives of Trees Finds Tiny Bees Play Big Part, Nov. 6, 2017:

National Public Radio, Science Friday interview on native bees and the (PNAS 2017) importance of species functional breadth in ecosystem function paper:

Also see:

Bumble bee papers (Molecular Ecology 2015) discussed on the Texas Standard and The Source:

Shade coffee work (Bioscience 2014) featured in the Huffington Post:

CA bumble bee research (PNAS 2013) discussed in the NY times:

Shade Coffee and pollinator research (PNAS 2010) discussed on Weekend Edition of All Things Considered, National Public Radio.

Shade Coffee seed disperser research (Current Biology 2008) discussed on Talk of the Nation Science Friday, National Public Radio.


Laurel Treviño, Outreach Program Coordinator, Jha Lab, Integrative Biology (512) 232-3521. The University of Texas at Austin, College of Natural Sciences, 1 University Station G2500, Austin, TX 78712

Lab members like to share their research with the public. Here are summaries of their research and public engagement activities. For more information on native pollinators, see UT Biodiversity Center.

UT became a Bee Campus USA June 2, 2020!  Jha Lab has worked with the UT Bee Campus committee since 2018 to attain Bee Campus USA certification from the Xerces Society. (left-right) Jill Parrish – Sustainability Center Green Fund, Richard Zhang (Beevo student beekeepers), Laurel Treviño (Jha Lab), Jen Hrobar (Landscape Services), Dr. Nancy Moran (FRI ‘Bugs in Bugs’), Jack Rouse & Emily Mitchell (Beevo). 

I’m delighted that UT is a Bee Campus! It’s good to know that UT members collaborate on at least 10 research-based education and public engagement activities that focus on pollinators. UT offers 14 non-academic and credit courses that include pollinators in their syllabi. Field-lab and biological-station directors coordinate research and educational projects involving pollinators, and 2 websites inform educators, naturalists and landowners about native bees. We even take our Longhorn bees to the rodeo!

2019 Monarch Fest, San Marcos, TX 

2018 and 2019 – The S.A.L.E. Ranch Rodeo Scholarship Committee, who funds CNS undergraduate scholarships, invited the Jha Lab to represent Integrative Biology at the San Antonio Rodeo – Texas Wildlife Expo. Laurel and many IB volunteers hosted hundreds of visitors who learned that native bees are part of Texas wildlife!

In 2018 and 2019 Laurel taught “Native Bees of Texas” at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. The half-day workshop includes lab and field components in addition to slide-based lecture. 20 adult students enthusiastically participated in each class, where observing native bees through scopes and in the Wildflower Center gardens were the highlights. It formed part of the 2018 and 2019 TPWD Pollinator Bioblitz too!

UT Pollinator Blitz 2017 was a success thanks to master naturalists, gardeners, CNS & UT Sustainability Office staff who came to learn about native bees. Survey photos were posted on #TXpollinators iNaturalist. Co-organizers of our campus event were Karen Bishop (NWF), Johnnie Smith (TPWD) and Laurel Treviño (Jha Lab).  TPWD Pollinator Blitz 2017;

UT Austin Sustainability Week, Pollinator Garden & Orchard Tour was led by Jen Hrobar of Landscape Services and Laurel Treviño of the Jha Lab in 2017 – photos


UT Environmental Science Institute Scientist in Residence Program – graduate student Megan O’Connell worked with teachers and students of Laurel Mountain Elementary School, Round Rock ISD to install a pollinator garden.

Boy Scouts Event Summer 2017

UT – ESI Hot Science-Cool Talks, Dr. Shalene Jha Spring 2017


Waller Creek Conservancy/Animal Facts Club, Jha lab & LBJWFC 2016

Sara, Laurel, Megan, Kim lead outreach activities at Laguna Gloria 2015

Laguna Gloria Kim Sarah Laguna Gloria girl w net Laguna Gloria Butterfly-Girl Lupe Laguna Gloria boy bee box

Pollinator Nature Nights at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. The Jha Lab has hosted a table with educational exhibits and activities every year (4 years) since 2015.



CNS Family Day Shalene Jha 2015


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