Service-Learning, Research & Courses


The Beevo Beekeeping Society, the university’s premier apiary club, spearheaded the UT Bee Campus initiative as a service-learning project with the Office of Sustainability. The student organization’s goal is to cultivate people’s interest in honey bees and to understand their roles as pollinators. Students manage two bee hives on campus and do regular beehive checks that are open to the public as well as hosting speaker series on healthy pollinator landscapes and sustainable beekeeping practices. Beevo students work with UT Landscape Services on sustainable beekeeping and pest management practices as they help install new pollinator habitats on campus. More information, including ways to engage with and contribute is found on the Beevo webpage.

Faculty in the award-winning Freshman Research Initiative in the College of Natural Sciences oversee undergraduate research. In the Bugs in Bugs stream focused on insects, students affiliated with Dr. Nancy Moran’s lab study bee gut microbes to understand the impact of bacteria on the health of these important pollinators. Students affiliated with Dr. Alex Wild, UT’s invertebrate collection curator, develop projects such as the Bees and Wasps of Central Texas for the Insects Unlocked photo archive.


Gilbert Lab - Studies Butterfly-Plant Interactions

Distinguished Texas scientist Dr. Larry Gilbert, studies interactions between lepidopterans and plants including Heliconius butterflies and invasive cactus moths.

Jha Lab - Studies Pollinators in Ecosystems

Dr. Shalene Jha’s lab group does research on native bee communities at local and landscape scales in gardens, farms, and grasslands. Research groups have published on pollination and foraging ecology, ecosystem services, and landscape genetics and genomics. Their public engagement program also supports UT Bee Campus.

2017: The Buzz About Bees: How They Improve Our Lives” is an ESI Hot Science Cool Talk by Dr. Shalene Jha that explains pollination services in ecosystems and how human land management impacts species interactions.

Moran Lab - Studies Pollinator Microbiomes

Dr. Nancy Moran’s lab group investigates how beneficial bacterial symbionts support wild and managed bees. The lab’s research groups have shown that gut microbiomes protect against pathogens and assist in bee nutrition and have found that agrochemicals can disrupt these microbiomes to the detriment of their bee hosts.

Muth Lab - Studies Bee Cognition and Effects of Agrochemicals

Dr. Felicity Muth and Dr. Harry Siviter (2021 Stengl-Wyer Scholar) published research in Nature that documents how bees exposed to multiple agricultural chemicals face much greater risk than previously understood. Their research shows that both native and domesticated bees are negatively impacted by pesticides.


The Native Bees of Texas short course is taught by Laurel Treviño, Outreach Program Coordinator for the Jha Lab.

UT Austin offers several academic credit and non-credit courses that include pollinators. Find the complete list of current courses.