Regional coordinators

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Christian Pirk is a Professor in the Department of Zoology and Entomology at the University of Pretoria and a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa.

Christian received his “Staatsexamen in Biology and Mathematik” from the Technical University of Berlin – which was followed by his PhD from 2000-2002 under the supervision of Professor Randall Hepburn at Rhodes University (Grahamstown – South Africa).

Thereafter – he was a postdoctoral fellow in Professor Tautz’s group at the University of Wuerzburg (Germany) after which he joined Professor Moritz’s group at Halle University (Germany) in 2004.

In 2005 he joined Professor Crewe’s lab at the University of Pretoria and in 2006 he was rated as one of the TOP50 German researchers in the field of Behaviour.

In 2009 he accepted a faculty position in the Department of Zoology and Entomology – two years later he was promoted to Associate Professor and he has been a full Professor since 2015.

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Her research focuses on various aspects of honeybee biology and physiology including nutrition disease diagnostics parasites and pesticides that negatively affect bees and may possibly contribute to honeybee colony losses in South Africa.

She has contributed towards knowledge in the field of pollinator identification and pollination efficiency floral rewards (nectar and pollen) microscopic evaluation of digestion efficiency and ovarian development.

Her recent research involves the effect of neonicotinoid pesticides on honeybee physiology behaviour and nutrition.

At the local level she is involved with various key role players and stakeholders in the beekeeping industry in South Africa such as the Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries Agricultural Research Council South African Bee Industry Organisation (SABIO) and beekeepers.


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Huoqing Zheng is leading a group working on honeybee diseases in Zhejiang University, China.

Taking advantage of the presence of both Apis cerana and Apis mellifera in the area, he is particularly interested in the host shift of honeybee parasites and pathogens, e.g. Varroa destructor and viruses, between the two honeybee species.

He is a duty scientist of National Beekeeping Industry Technology System supported by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China. In the system, he has the responsivity to develop sustainable solutions against honeybee pests and pathogens.


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Pierre Giovenazzo is professor in the Department of Biology of Laval University and holds a Chair in Educational Leadership in apicultural science. His recent research focuses on: varroa IPM, honeybee nutrition, queen breeding/selection, colony population dynamics, optimizing pollination services and the recent invasion of the small hive beetle in southern Québec. He is president of the Apimondia 2019 congress that will take place in Montréal, Canada 8-13 September 2019.


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Oksana is a commercial beekeeper and scientist with a special interest in honey bee health and queen breeding.  She holds a Ph.D. in molecular phylogenetics from the University of Toronto, Department of Zoology.

Oksana is a member of the Apiculture New Zealand Science and Research Focus Group and also serves on the advisory team of the Bee Pathogen programme that is coordinated by the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) that overviews the beekeeping sector in New Zealand.

With a background as a science and nature documentary filmmaker, Oksana has also produced a series on Varroa for Plant Health Australia.

South America

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Karina is a microbiologist working on different pest and pathogens that affects honeybee health in Uruguay, mainly Nosema ceranae, RNA viruses and Paenibacillus larvae.

She is working on different projects aimed to quantify colony losses in Uruguay; detect/quantify pest and pathogens; analyse the host-pathogen interaction and evaluate strategies to improve honeybee health through probiotics and nutrition.

She is also the general coordinator of the Latin American Network for Bee Research.


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Jamie is the Gahan Associate Professor of Entomology in the Department of Entomology and Nematology at the University of Florida.

At the University of Florida, Jamie has responsibilities in extension, instruction and research.

Regarding his extension work, Jamie created the AFBEE program (African Bee Extension and Education Program), the UF, South Florida, and Caribbean Bee Colleges, and the UF Master Beekeeper Program.

As an instructor, Jamie supervises PhD and masters students in addition to offering an online beekeeping course.

Currently, Jamie and his team have over 30 active research projects in the fields of honey bee husbandry, conservation and ecology, and integrated crop pollination.