Claire Campion is a first year student in the Dillon Lab working toward her master’s degree at the University of Wyoming. She has been part of the ICE Network throughout her undergraduate studies at North Dakota State University. At NDSU, she studied effects of agrochemicals on reproductive physiology of male honeybees and developed strategies for cryopreservation of bumblebee spermatozoa. Claire is interested in how climate change affects reproductive physiology of male and queen bumblebees. She is studying how extreme temperatures (warm or cold) may alter mating interactions between males and females and the viability of gametes, with potentially critical and understudied impacts on subsequent reproductive success. Claire is currently working on how an ecologically relevant cold snap impacts male bumblebees survival and if cold exposure is correlated to oxidative stress.
Claire first realized that she wanted to be a scientist after they lost their overwintered colonies of honeybees on her family farm. She started asking questions about environmental factors and the role they play in an organisms stress level and survival. This led her to get involved with research at NDSU looking at the impact of agrochemicals on honeybees. Claire’s favorite part about research is learning something new every day. She also enjoys her time spent in the mountains helping with bumblebee surveys. The best advice Claire received from a mentor was never stop learning and always be curious.
One of Claire’s favorite memories of the lab included a box of bees with a honeybee escape hole. In order to get the situation under control, she had to get into a bee suit, turn the lights off and blindly capture the escapees with a net. Her fellow lab mates watched through the window enjoying the afternoon entertainment! When Claire completes her master’s degree she hopes to go into environmental policy and implement research to raise awareness about effects of the climate crisis on pollinators. If Claire was not pursuing her degree, you would find her as a beekeeper with a stand at a local farmers market. In her spare time, Claire hopes to visit every nation park someday.