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Department of Biology
402 Hutchison Hall
University of Rochester
Rochester, New York 14627-0211

Phone: (585) 275-0272
Fax: (585) 242-0966
E mail:


Bob Minckley


Biogeography, phylogeny and conservation of Hymenoptera, particularly bees and sphecines; interactions among flowers and flower-visiting insects; evolution of trophic specialization, particularly pollen specialization; ecology and the evolution of reproductive behavior. Theory and principles of evolutionary biology; including systematic theory and its application to comparative biology.

Titles of publications and presentations below give an idea of some of my accomplishments in some of these fields.



  • Ph. D. in Entomology. University of Kansas, Lawrence. 1993. Advisor: Charles D. Michener. Dissertation: Phylogeny and the evolution of male reproductive behavior in the large carpenter bees (Apoidea: Xylocopini).
  • M. Sc. in Entomology, University of Arizona, Tucson. 1988. Advisor: R.L. Smith. Thesis: Aspects of the reproductive biology of two carpenter bees (genus Xylocopa) in southern Arizona.
  • B. Sc. in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, Tucson. 1984.
  • 2004-present, Appointment as adjunct research professor, Department of Biology, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York.
  • 1999-present, Appointment as research auxiliary faculty, Department of Biology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • 2000-present, Appointment as curator, Utah Museum of Natural History, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • 1997-1999, Appointment as member of graduate faculty, Department of Entomology, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama.
  • 1995-1997, Post-doctoral position with Dr. James H. Cane, Department of Entomology, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama.
  • 1994, Post-doctoral position with Dr. Michael Greenfield, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas.
  • Panelist, National Science Foundation , Evolution and Population Ecology Panel, 1-4 November 2005
  • Invited speaker to the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, United States "Workshop on status of pollinators in North America" 18-19 October 2005.
  • Member of North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC)
  • Participating member, NSF-sponsored working group on "Restoring an ecosystem service for degraded landscapes: Native bees and crop pollination. National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, Santa Barbara, California, 2005-2006.
  • Borderland ecosystem effects of the invasive plant species salt cedar to a keystone ecological process. Southwest Center for Environmental Research & Policy, 2004-2005.
  • The contribution of specialist pollinators to generalist plants: when do specialists matter? (with T.H. Roulston, Univ. of Virginia and N.M. Williams, Bryn Mawr College). Ecology Panel, National Science Foundation, 2004-2007.
  • Participating and founding member of an informal group to evaluate the feasibility of different sampling protocols for large-scale biodiversity surveys and pollination studies of bees and wasps. Annual meetings in Logan, Utah.
  • Participating member, Peloncillos Science Workshop, Wilcox, Arizona, February 2003- to identify the biological importance and long-term manageme nt strategies that will protect biodiversity of the Peloncillos Mtns., NM and the Sierra Madre Mtns. in Mexico.
  • Subsurface water availability and timescale of desert vegetation recovery following livestock removal. 2002 Southwest Center for Environmental Research & Policy.
  • Comparative diversity of the spring bee (Hymenoptera: Apiformes) fauna of the Lower Sonoran and northern Chihuahuan Deserts. 2002. United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Baseline study of bee diversity across a region where endemism and species diversity for this group are unusually high.
  • Point estimates of bee biodiversity in the Chihuahuan Desert. 2001 World Wildlife Fund. To determine bee diversity in one of the biodiversity hotspots for bees in the world.
  • Bee biodiversity and population dynamics in desert ecosystems: the role of seasonality. 2000 National Science Foundation. To evaluate the role of seasonality as one mechanism for the unusually high diversity of bees in the warm deserts of N. America.
  • Origins and host breadth of the creosote bush bee fauna. 2000 National Geographic Society (with Dr. A. Burquez). To evaluate if host switching or phylogenetic tracking of plant hosts explains the diverse specialist bee fauna of creosote bush.
  • Participating member, NSF panel for Evaluating Native Invertebrate Pollinator Declines, National Center of Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, Santa Barbara, Calif., Sept. 1999
  • Visiting Scholar Award. 1996. The Flinders University of South Australia, Adelaide, In lab of Dr. M. Schwarz (September, October).
  • Pollinator Guild Composition and Habitat Fragmentation: The bees of Larrea. 1996. National Science Foundation (With Dr. J. Cane). To study effects of habitat fragmentation on species composition and abundance of the pollinators of creosote bush (Larrea).
  1. Martinson, V.G., B.N. Danforth, R.L. Minckley, O. Rueppell, S. Tingek & N.A. Moran. (2010). A simple and distinctive microbiota exclusively associated with honey bees and bumble bees. Molecular Ecology, in review
  2. Minckley, R.L. (2010a) High solitary bee diversity and regional endemism in the Chihuahuan Desert. Biological Journal of the Linnaean Society, in press
  3. Minckley, R.L. (2010b) Disturbance shifts abundance and not species density or composition in a diverse desert bee (Hymenoptera: Apiformes) community. Insect Conservation and Diversity, in press
  4. Minckley, R.L., T.H. Roulston & N.M. Williams. (2010) Diapause strategies vary predictably with host reliability in a desert bee community. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, B., in review
  5. Bordenstein, S.R., C. Brothers, G. Wolfe, M. Bahr, R.L. Minckley, M.E. Clark. J.J. Wernegreen, W.S. Reznikoff, & J.H. Werren (2010) Using the Wolbachia bacterial symbiont to teach inquiry-based science: A high school laboratory series. American Biology Teacher, in press.
  6. Droege, S.V. Tepedino, T. Griswold, G. LeBuhn, W. Link, R.L. Minckley and 3 others. (2009) Spatial patterns of bee captures in North American bowl trapping surveys. Insect Conservation and Diversity 3: 15-23
  7. Minckley, R.L. (2008) Faunal composition and species richness differences of bees (Hymenoptera: Apiformes) from two North American regions. Apidologie 39: 176-188.
  8. Kremen, C., N.M. Williams, M.A. Aizen, B. Gemmill-Herren, G. LeBuhn, R.L. Minckley & 13 other authors. (2007) Pollination and other ecosystem services produced by mobile organisms: a conceptual framework for the effects of land-use change. Ecology Letters 10:299-314
  9. Minckley, R.L., & T.H. Roulston. (2006) Incidental mutualisms and pollen specialization among bees, pp. 69-98. In, Plant-Pollinator Interactions: From Specialization to Generalization. Waser, N.M. and J. Ollerton (eds.), Univ. of Chicago Press
  10. Cane, J.H., R.L. Minckley, T.H. Roulston & L. Kervin. (2006) Complex responses within a desert bee guild (Hymenoptera: Apiformes) to urban habitat fragmentation. Ecological Applications 16: 632-634.
  11. Cane, J.H., R.L. Minckley, L. Kervin & T.H. Roulston. (2005) Temporally persistent patterns of incidence and abundance in a pollinator guild at annual and decadal scales: the bees of Larrea tridentata. Biological Journal of the Linnaen Society 85: 319-329.
  12. Minckley, R.L., J.H. Cane, L. Kervin & D. Yanega. (2002) Biological impediments to measures of competition among introduced honey bees and desert bees. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 76: 20-33.
  13. Williams, N., R.L. Minckley & F.A. Silveira (2001) Variation in bee faunas and its implications for future studies. Conservation Ecology. 5: 7. [online]
  14. Cane, J.H., R.L. Minckley & L. Kervin (2000). Sampling bees (Hymenoptera: Apiformes) for pollinator community studies: pitfalls of pan-trapping. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 73:225-231.
  15. Minckley, R.L., J. H. Cane & L. Kervin (2000) Origins and ecological consequences of pollen specialization among desert bees. Proceedings of the Royal Society , London B. 267: 1-7.
  16. Minckley, R.L., J. H. Cane,L. Kervin & T. Roulston (1999) Spatial predictability and resource specialization of bees at a superabundant, widespread host plant. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 67:119-147.
  17. Minckley, R.L. (1998) A cladistic analysis and classification of the subgenera and genera of the Large Carpenter Bees, tribe Xylocopini (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Scientific Papers of the University of Kansas Natural History Museum 9:1-47.
  18. Minckley, R.L. & S.G. Reyes (1996) Capture of the orchid bee, Eulaema polychroma, (Friese) (Apidae: Euglossini) in Arizona, with notes on northern distributions of other Mesoamerican bees. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 62:102-104.
  19. Minckley, R.L. & M. D. Greenfield (1995) Psychoacoustics of female phonotaxis and the evolution of male signal interactions. Ethology, Ecology & Evolution 7:235-243
  20. Minckley, R.L., M.D. Greenfield & M.K. Tourtellot (1995) Chorus structure in tarbush grasshoppers: inhibition, selective phonoresponse, and signal competition. Animal Behaviour 50:579-594
  21. Wcislo, W.T., R.L. Minckley, R.A.B. Leschen & S.G. Reyes (1994) Phenology of and rates of parasitism by natural enemies of a solitary bee, Dieunomia triangulifera (Vachal) (Hymenoptera: Halictidae, Nomadinae; Mutillidae; Diptera: Bombyliidae, Conopidae; Coleoptera: Rhipiphoridae). Sociobiology 23: 265-273
  22. Minckley, R.L., W.T. Wcislo, D.A. Yanega & S.L. Buchmann (1994) Behavior and phenology of a specialist bee (Dieunomia) and sunflower (Helianthus) pollen availability. Ecology 75:1406-1419
  23. Minckley, R.L. (1994) Comparative morphology of the mesosomal "gland" in male Large Carpenter Bees (Apidae: Xylocopini). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 53:291-308.
  24. Alexander, B.A., R.L. Minckley, & D. Yanega (1993) Nesting biology of Glenostichtia pictifrons (F. Smith) (Hymenoptera, Sphecidae, Bembecini). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 66:108-120.
  25. Greenfield, M.D. & R.L. Minckley (1993) Acoustic dueling in tarbush grasshoppers: settlement of territorial contests via alternation of reliable signals. Ethology 95:309-326
  26. Wcislo, W.T., R.L. Minckley & H.G. Spangler (1993) Precopulatory courtship behavior in a solitary bee, Nomia triangulifera (Hymenoptera: Halictidae). Apidologie 23: 431-442.
  27. Minckley, R.L., S.L. Buchmann & W.T. Wcislo (1991) Bioassay evidence for a sex attractant pheromone in the large carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta (Anthophoridae, Hymenoptera). Journal of Zoology 224:285-291.
  28. Minckley, R.L. & S.L. Buchmann (1990) Territory site selection of male Xylocopa (Neoxylocopa) varipuncta Patton (Hymenoptera: Anthophoridae). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 63:329-339.
  29. Minckley, R.L. (1989) Host records and biological notes for two Anthrax species in Arizona (Diptera: Bombyliidae). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 62:274-278.
  30. Andersen, J.F., S.L. Buchmann, D. Weisleder, R.D. Plattner, & R.L. Minckley (1988) Identification of thoracic gland constituents from male Xylocopa spp. Latreille (Hymenoptera: Anthophoridae) from Arizona. Journal of Chemical Ecology 14:1153-1162.

PUBLICATIONS (not peer reviewed)

  1. Minckley, R.L. & J. Seger. (2002) Book review of Solitary wasps: Behavior and Natural History Quarterly Review of Biology 77: 462-463
  2. Kondo, T., M.L. Williams & R.L. Minckley (2000) Giant Resin Bees! Exotic species makes its way from east coast to Alabama. Highlights of Agricultural Research of the Alabama Agricultural Experimental Station, Auburn Univ. 47: 4-6.


  • Principles of Biology, second semester, University of Rochester, 2009-on spring semester.
  • Animal Behavior, University of Rochester, Fall 2007
  • Advanced Molecular Genetics Laboratory, University of Rochester, Spring 2008.
  • Ecosystems Services: Department of Biology, University of Rochester, 2009-on fall semester. Examines from an economic viewpoint, the value of ecosystem processes to the long-term sustainability of human societies.
  • Perspectives in Biology Laboratory: University of Rochester, Spring 2007-on spring semester.
  • Perspectives in Biology: Department of Biology, University of Rochester, Fall 2004-2007. Overview of important topics in ecology and evolution limited to incoming freshman biology majors with advanced placement scores of 5.
  • How Bugs Rule: Department of Biology, University of Rochester, Spring 2004 and Department of Biology, University of Utah, Fall 2002. Introduces insects as examples of the importance of biology for undergraduate students who are non-science majors.
  • Introduction to Phylogenetics: Department of Biology, University of Utah, Spring 2003. Introductory course in analysis and interpretation of phylogenetic trees and character evolution for graduate students.
  • General Biology: Department of Biology, University of Utah, Spring & summer 2003. Introductory biology course for undergraduate biology and non-science majors.
  • Phylogenetic Systematics: Department of Entomology, Auburn University, Spring 1998 and 1999. Introductory course in analysis and interpretation of phylogenetic trees and character evolution for graduate students.


  • Sonora Mexico, 2000-present. with Drs. Alberto Burquez, T'ai Roulston and Neal Williams in the San Bernardino Valley. Diversity and dynamics of bee species the Chihuahuan Desert.
  • Southwestern United States: Spring, 1994-1999. James H. Cane, Auburn University. Regional diversity and species diversity of pollinator guild associated with creosote bush; Summers 1992-1993. The University of Kansas. Survey of native bees in Big Bend National Park, Texas; March 1989. Drs. John Alcock, Stephen L. Buchmann & William T. Wcislo to central Arizona to conduct field bioassay experiments of the mate-attracting pheromone in Xylocopa; June, July 1988.
  • Nayarit and Jalisco Mexico, The University of Kansas. Collection of material for dissertation research; Summer 1974 & 1977. Museum of Northern Arizona. Survey of the fish fauna in Grand Canyon National Park; 1970-present. Numerous short trips to areas that have been poorly collected for bees.
  • Southern Australia: September-October 1996. Drs. M. Schwarz and S. Reyes, The Flinders University of South Australia, Adelaide. Research on the behavioral ecology and phylogeny of the subfamily Xylocopinae (Apidae: Xylocopini).
  • Chihuahuan desert, United States. Summer 1992-1994. Dr. Michael D. Greenfield, The University of Kansas. Observational and experimental behavioral studies in the field of signal interactions between territorial male tarbush grasshoppers.
  • Western Mexico. April 1990. 18-day bee collecting trip with Dr. Jon Gelhaus.
  • Northern Mexico August 1991. 21-day collecting/research trip to Mexico; member of NSF-funded PCAM (Programa Cooperativa sobre la Apifauna Mexicana) expedition to northern Mexico to survey bee biodiversity: August 1977. Participant in a one-month survey of the fish fauna of the Rio Yaqui drainage in Chihuahua and Sonora, Mexico sponsored by Arizona State University.
  • Central Mexico. July-August 1988. 40 day trip to Jalisco and Nayarit for dissertation research; December 1989 20-day bee collecting trip to eastern and central Mexico; with Dr. B. N. Danforth

Updated: 11 August, 2010

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