Elina Lastro Niño
Chemical Ecology Lab
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PhD Entomology, Penn State University (2012)
MS Entomology, North Carolina State University (2006)
BS Animal Science, Cornell University (2003)
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Entomology, Penn State University (2012 - Present)
Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant, Department of Entomology, North Carolina State University and Penn State University (2003-2012)
Laboratory Assistant, Department of Entomology, North Carolina State University (2003)
Student Laboratory Assistant, Department of Entomology, Cornell University (2002-2003)
I am broadly interested in understanding reproductive processes in social insects and what factors are responsible for their regulation. I use honey bees as a model to study the effects of factors such as seminal volume and seminal fluid components on triggering and maintaining behavioral (cessation of mating flights), physiological (ovary activation, pheromone production), and molecular (changes in gene expression) post-mating changes in queens. I also aim to understand how these changes modulate social interactions within the colony. For my postdoctoral research I will employee evolutionary and functional genomics to identify specific seminal proteins of interest and characterize their effects on honey bee queen post-mating changes. I will also use sociological approaches to understand beekeepers attitudes towards bee breeding. My goal is to use my findings to aid breeding efforts necessary for developing disease resistant and hardy bee stock, and to implement the inferences of my sociological analyses in developing successful local queen breeding programs.
Peer reviewed publications:
Malka, O., E. L., Niño, C. M. Grozinger, and A. Hefetz. Genomic analysis of the interactions between social environment and social communication systems in honey bees (Apis mellifera), (Submitted, Molecular Ecology).
Niño, E. L., O. Malka, A. Hefetz, D. R. Tarpy, and C. M. Grozinger. Pheromone production in two glands is differentially regulated by distinct mating factors in honey bee queens (Apis mellifera L.), (In Revision, PLoS ONE).
Niño, E. L., D. R. Tarpy, and C. M. Grozinger. (2013) Differential effects of insemination volume and substance on reproductive changes in honey bee queens (Apis mellifera L.). (In press, Insect Molecular Biology).
Peso, M., E. L. Niño, C. M. Grozinger, and A. Barron. (2012) Effect of honey bee queen mating condition on worker ovary activation. Insectes Sociaux. DOI 10.1007/s00040-012-0275-1
Avila, F. W., G. D. Findlay, A. Gothilf, and E. L. Niño. (2012) A BARD Workshop - Insect Reproductive Molecules: From Model Systems to Agricultural Applications. Molecular Reproduction and Development. 79 (12): 816-820.
Niño, E. L., O. Malka, A. Hefetz, P. Teal, J. Hayes, and C. M. Grozinger. (2012) Effects of honey bee (Apis mellifera) queen insemination volume on worker behavior and physiology. Journal of Insect Physiology. 58 (8): 1082-1089.
Smith, J., M. Douglas, I. Grettenberger, S. Sidhu, E. L. Niño, and T. Bentley. (2012) Global climate change will have substantial long-term negative effects on arthropod diversity. American Entomologist. 58 (2):99-103.
Niño, E. L., D. R. Tarpy, and C. M. Grozinger. (2011) Genome-wide analysis of brain transcriptional changes in honey bee queens (Apis mellifera L.) exposed to carbon dioxide and physical manipulation. Insect Molecular Biology. 20 (30): 387-398.
Niño, E. L., C. E. Sorenson, S. P. Washburn, and D. W. Watson. (2009) Effects of the insect growth regulator, methoprene, on the dung beetle, Onthophagus taurus Schreber (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). Environmental Entomology. 38 (2): 493-498.
Watson, D. W., E. L. Niño, K. Rochon, S. Denning, L. Smith, and J. Guy. (2007) Experimental evaluation of Musca domestica (Diptera: Muscidae) as a vector of Newcastle Disease Virus. Journal of Medical Entomology. 44 (4): 666-671.
Non-peer reviewed publications:
Niño, E. L. 2012. Behavioral, Physiological, and Molecular Characterization of Factors Affecting Reproductive Quality of Honey Bee Queens (Apis mellifera L.). Ph.D. dissertation (In preparation), The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania.
Niño, E. L., D.R. Tarpy and C.M. Grozinger. 2008. “Behavioral, physiological, and molecular characterization of factors affecting reproductive quality of honey bee queens (Apis mellifera L.)”. Proceedings of the 2008 American Bee Research Conference (ABRC-21st). American Bee Journal 148(6):558.
Lastro,E. 2006. Dung Beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae and Geotrupidae) in North Carolina Pasture Ecosystem. M.S. thesis, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina.
Watson, D. W., M. H. Poore, S. P. Washburn, J. P. Mueller and E. Lastro. 2005. “Pest Management Using Push-Pull Strategies to Control Horn Flies in Pastured Dairy Heifers and Steers”. 45th Annual N. C. Dairy Conference Proceedings. Salisbury, NC.
John Henry Comstock Graduate Student Award, Entomological Society of America (Eastern Branch Winner), 2013
The International Congress on Insect Neurochemistry and Neurophysiology Student Recognition Award in Insect Physiology, Biochemistry, Toxicology, and Molecular Biology, 2012
Alumni Association Dissertation Award, PSU, 2012
Lillian & Alex Feir Graduate Student Travel Award in Insect Physiology, Biochemistry or Molecular Biology, Entomological Foundation, 2011
Eastern Apicultural Society Student Award Recipient, 2011
Lorenzo Langstroth Fellowship, Center for Pollinator Research, PSU, 2011
Michael E. Duke Memorial Scholarship, Department of Entomology, PSU, 2011
Sahakian Family Fund for Ag Research Travel Award, College of Ag Sciences, PSU, 2010
Travel Award, Women in Science and Engineering Institute, PSU, 2010
Yendol Travel Award, Department of Entomology, PSU, 2009
1st Place Student Paper Presentation, American Bee Research Conference, Sacramento, CA, 2008
Student Travel Award, University Graduate Student Association, NCSU, 2008
Scholarship from the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees, Sacramento, CA, 2007
Outstanding MS Student of the Year, North Carolina Entomological Society, Raleigh, NC, 2006
1st Place Poster Competition, North Carolina Entomological Society, Raleigh, NC, 2006
1st Place Poster Student Competition for the President’s Prize, Entomological Society of America, Indianapolis, IN, 2006