Omaha, Neb. – The Davidson Fellows Scholarship Program has announced its 2020 scholarship winners. Among the 20 honorees is 18-year-old Audrey Anderson of Omaha. Anderson won a $25,000 scholarship for her project, Resilin Distribution and Abundance in Apis mellifera Wing Joints across Biological Age Classes.
Anderson’s research is the first to demonstrate a relationship between the abundance of resilin and honey bee age class, thus identifying resilin as a potential age-dependent marker of honey bee health. Resilin is an elastic material found in the bees’ wing joints and is linked to their flexibility.
Anderson is enrolled at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as a Regents Scholar and plans to study biological systems engineering, with the goal of using her scientific research and engineering skills to restore degraded habitats across the world.
Anderson said in an ABJ interview that her interest in honey bees was sparked by media coverage of colony collapse disorder. Preliminary research regarding the 1m-cu joint on the forewing supports her hypothesis that resilin levels drop as the bee ages, but she was surprised to learn that the biggest reduction occurred between emergence and nurse bee age, followed by a more gradual decrease during the rest of its lifespan.
The goal of future research is to compare the abundance of resilin between healthy and non-healthy honey bees.
The Davidson Fellows Scholarship program offers $50,000, $25,000 and $10,000 college scholarships to students 18 or younger, who have completed significant projects that have the potential to benefit society in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, literature and music. …