Andony Melathopoulos
Assistant Professor-Pollinator Health Extension

I lead OSU Extension's efforts to design, develop, implement and evaluate a state-wide pollinator health program. The focus of this program is not restricted to Oregon's four managed pollinator species (honey bees, alfalfa leafcutter bees, orchard mason bees and alkali bees) but also to the state's rich endowment of wild species. 

OSU Campus
Department of Horticulture
Room 4153 (office) / 4148 (lab)
4017 Ag and Life Sciences Bldg
Corvallis, OR 97331-7304
United States
(541) 737-3139

Research

“The honey bee has in effect become the first insect with its own ‘risk cup’.”
- May Berenbaum (2016, J Agric Food Chem, 64: 13-20)

Pollinator decline is changing the way we think about pesticides. As Berenbaum remarks, this new paradigm re-conceptualizes pesticide risks to honey bees in a manner paralleling changes to human pesticide risk assessment that took place roughly twenty years ago. Instead of calculating risk on a chemical-by-chemical basis, we increasingly understand that the risk posed by pesticides to pollinators is best explained by a “risk cup”; the cumulative and interactive effect of the pesticides pollinators encounter when they leave their colony, shelter or nest. For beekeepers this also includes the compounding effect of acarcides used to managing Varroa mites. Yet, in spite of remarkable advances in integrating the cumulative toxic effects of pesticides on all pollinating insects, our ability to render these findings into targeted extension initiatives, let alone a cohesive set of pest management practices in the real world, is hampered by the fact that we still know little about where pollinators are located relative to where pesticides are being applied. If the human “risk cup” became a reality because risk assessments could be grounded in vast datasets describing patterns of human behavior, a pollinator “risk cup” will remain conceptual until we can relate exposure risk to patterns of honey bee colony movement and the arrangement of wild pollinator populations in the Oregon landscape.

1. Pesticide Exposure
A "risk cup" implies an understanding of where and how pollinators are being exposed to pesticides in both agricultural and urban landscapes and being able to determine the consequences to the productivity of managed species and community composition of wild species. I am interested in research that leads to a more concrete picture of the pollinator "risk cup" including:  
- working directly with land managers to better understand the pest management presures they face during high risk periods (e.g., crop bloom, high drift potential) and the opportunity for affordable alternatives of lower risk 
- measuring the performance of sentinal bee nests/colonies under different pest management scenarios
- characterize actual exposure levels through analysis of field collected samples of pollinators, pollen and nectar
- methods to track the reduced exposure of pollinators to pesticides over time

2. Pollinator Habitat
The other side of the "risk cup" is an understanding how pollinators use complex urban and agricultural landscapes to meet their life history requirements for forage and shelter. I am interested in research that better characterizes the nesting, foraging and host plant needs for managed and wild (common and rare) species, which not only leads to a more realistic pollinator "risk cup", but that can inform land managers on pollinator habitat restoration.     

3. Pollination Systems
Managed bee stocks and wild pollinator populations are part of a broadly interconnected agroecological system. Various parts of this system influence pollinator health and, in turn, pollinator contributions back to agricultural yield. But since the system is so large and its various elements interact in a dynamic manner, the ultimate causes of pollinator decline and its impact on food production are frequently obscure. I am interested in research that specifies the linkages within this system, including:
- how managed bee stocks respond to changing demand for pollination services
- the interaction between pest management and pollination in generating agricultural value
- how the value of pollination to agriculture changes over time (e.g., through cultivar development, changes in cropping practices, in response to prolonged periods of low farm income)
 

Biography

Education
- Interdisiciplinary PhD (2016), Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada
- Masters of Pest Management (1999), Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada
- Bachelor of Science (Biology, Honors) (1995), Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada

Professional Experience
- Postdoctoral Scholar (2015-2016) Pollination Ecology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
- Technician (2000-2013) Apicultural Research, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Beaverlodge, Alberta, Canada

Profesional Affiliations
American Association of Professional Apiculturalists
Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturalists
Oregon Agricultural Extension Association
Oregon State University Extension Association

I accept graduate students for Horticulture
I can serve on graduate committees

Publications

Journal Articles:

  1. Melathopoulos, A.P., Hoover, S., Ostermann, D., Castillo, C., Vandervalk, L., Hoover, S. (2017) Viruses commonly found among honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) on managed alfalfa leafcutter bees (Megachille rotundata Fab.) in Western Canada: incidence, impacts and prospects of cross-species viral transmission. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology. 146: 24-30.
  2. Bixby, M., Baylis, K., Hoover, S.E., Currie, R.W., Melathopoulos, A.P., Pernal, S.F., Foster, L.J. and Guarna, M.M., (2017) A bio-economic case study of Canadian honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies: Marker-assisted selection (MAS) in queen breeding affects beekeeper profits. Journal of Economic Entomology. doi: 10.1093/jee/tox077
  3. Schut, L., Tyedmers, P., Cutler, G.C. and Melathopoulos, A., (2017) Is early pollination to lowbush blueberry an ecosystem service or disservice? Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 239: 368-375.
  4. Guarna, M., Hoover, S., Huxter, E., Higo, H., Moon, K.M., Domanski, D., Bixby, M.E., Melathopoulos, A.P., Ibrahim, A., Peirson, M. and Desai, S., (2016) Expression biomarkers used for the selective breeding of complex polygenic traits. bioRxiv, p.076174.
  5. Guarna, M. M., Melathopoulos, A.P., Huxter, E., Iovinella, I., Parker, R., Stoynov, N., Tam, A., Moon, K.-M., Chan, Q. W., Pelosi, P. (2015) A search for protein biomarkers links olfactory signal transduction to social immunity. BMC Genomics 16:1.
  6. Melathopoulos, A.P., Stoner, A. (2015) Critique and transformation: On the hypothetical nature of ecosystem service value. Ecological Economics 117: 173-181
  7. Guarna, M. M., Melathopoulos, A.P., Huxter, E., Iovinella, I., Parker, R., Stoynov, N., Tam, A., Moon, K-M, Chan, Q.W.T., Pelosi, P., White, R., Pernal, S. F., Foster, L. J. (2015) A search for protein biomarkers links olfactory signal transduction to social immunity. BMC Genomics 16: 63
  8. Melathopoulos, A.P., Cutler, C.G., Tyedmers, P. (2015) Where is the value in valuing pollination ecosystem services? Ecological Economics 109: 59-70.
  9. Melathopoulos, A.P., Tyedmers, P., Cutler, C.G. (2014) Contextualizing pollination benefits: effect of insecticide and fungicide use on yield increases from bee pollination in lowbush blueberry. Annals of Applied Biology 165: 387-394.
  10. Chen, Y.P., Pettis, J.S., Zhao, Y., Liu, X., Tallon, L.J., Sadzewicz, L.D., Li, R., Zheng, H., Huang, S., Zhang, X., Hamilton, M.C., Pernal, S.F., Melathopoulos, A.P., Yan, X., Evans, J.D. (2013) Genome sequencing and comparative genomics of honey bee microsporidia, Nosema apis reveal novel insights into host-parasite interactions. BMC Genomics 14: 451.
  11. Parker, R.M., Guarna, M., Melathopoulos, A, Moon, K., White, R., Huxter, E., Pernal, S., Foster, L. (2012) Correlation of proteome-wide changes with social immunity behaviors provides insight into resistance to the parasitic mite, Varroa destructor, in the honey bee (Apis mellifera). Genome Biology 13: R81
  12. Warr, J., Horswill, S., Ness, C., Melathopoulos, A.P., Pernal, S.F. (2012) A note on introducing four-day old virgin queens into nucleus colonies using artificial queen cells in Alberta, Canada. Science of Bee Culture 4: 8-10
  13. Pernal, S.F., Sewalem, A. and Melathopoulos, A.P. (2012) Breeding for hygienic behaviour in honey bees (Apis mellifera) using free-mated nucleus colonies. Apidologie 43(4): 403-416.
  14. Melathopoulos, A.P., Pernal, S.F., Moller, E., Baumgartner, W., Guzmán-Novoa, E. (2010) A spring evaluation of thymol formulated in a sucrose dust for the control of Varroa destructor, a parasite of the honey bee (Apis mellifera) in Alberta, Canada. Science of Bee Culture 2(2): 2-6.
  15. Parker, R., Melathopoulos, A.P., White, R., Pernal, S.F., Guarna, M.M., and Foster, L.J. (2010) Ecological adaptation of diverse honey bee (Apis mellifera) populations. PLoS ONE 5(6):e11096.
  16. Chan, Q.W.T., Melathopoulos, A.P., Pernal, S.F., Foster, L.J. (2009) The innate immune and systemic response in honey bees to a bacterial pathogen, Paenibacillus larvae. BMC Genomics 10: 387.
  17. Pernal, S.F., Albright, R.L., and Melathopoulos, A.P. (2008) Evaluation of the shaking technique for the economic management of American foulbrood disease of honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Journal of Economic Entomology 101: 1095-1104.
  18. Thompson, T.S., Pernal, S.F., Noot, D.K. Melathopoulos, A.P., and Van Den Heever, J.P. (2006) Degradation of incurred tylosin to desmycosin – implications for residue analysis of honey. Analytica Chimica Acta 568: 304-311.
  19. Pernal, S.F. and Melathopoulos, A.P. (2006) Monitoring for American foulbrood spores from honey and bee samples in Canada. Apiatca 41: 99-109.
  20. Melathopoulos, A.P., Nelson, D., and Clark, K. (2003) High velocity electron-beam radiation of pollen and comb for the control of Paenibacillus larvae subspecies larvae and Ascosphaera apis. American Bee Journal 144: 714-720.
  21. Melathopoulos, A.P., and Gates, J. (2003) Comparison of two thymol-based acaricides API LIFE VAR and Apiguard for the control of Varroa mites. American Bee Journal 143(6):489-493.
  22. Melathopoulos, A.P., Winston, M.L., Whittington, R., Lindberg, C., and Smith, T. (2000) Comparative laboratory toxicity of neem pesticides to honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae), their mite parasites Varroa jacobsoni (Acari: Varroaidae) and Acarapis woodi (Acari: Tarsonemidae), and brood pathogens Paenibacillus larvae and Ascophera apis. Journal of Economic Entomology 93(2):199-209.
  23. Melathopoulos, A.P., Winston, M.L., Whittington, R., Higo, H., and LeDoux, M. (2000) Field evaluation of neem and canola oil for the selective control of the honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) mite parasites Varroa jacobsoni (Acari: Varroaidae) and Acarapis woodi (Acari: Tarsonemidae). Journal of Economic Entomology 93(3): 559-567.
  24. Lindberg, C., Melathopoulos, A.P., and Winston, M.L. (1999) A laboratory bioassay for evaluating miticides to control Varroa jacobsoni Oud. (Acari: Varroidae), a honey bee (Apis mellifera L., Hymenoptera: Apidae) parasite. Journal of Economic Entomology 93(2): 189-198.
  25. Whittington, R., Winston, M.L., Melathopoulos, A.P., and Higo, H. (1999) Evaluation of the botanical oils neem, thymol, and canola sprayed to control Varroa jacobsoni Oud. (Acari: Varroidae) and Acarapis woodi (Acari: Tarsonemidae) in colonies of honey bees (Apis mellifera L., Hymenoptera: Apidae). American Bee Journal 140(7):567-572.
  26. Melathopoulos, A.P., Winston, M.L., Pettis, J., and Pankiw, T.P. (1996) The effects of queen mandibular pheromone on the initiation and maintenance of queen cells in the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.). Canadian Entomologist 128(2):263-272.

Books:

Stoner, A., Melathopoulos, A.P. 2015 Freedom in the Anthropocene: Twentieth-Century Helplessness in the Face of Climate Change. Palgrave Macmillan 

Outreach and Extension

My outreach and extension duties are associated with the implementing Oregon House Bills (HB) 3361, 3362, 2653.
- HB 3361: Make available to the public best management practices to improve pollinator health for native and managed pollinators in urban, roadside and agricultural areas throughout Oregon
- HB 3362: Develop educational materials and an outreach and education plan outlining the best practices for industry and the general public in the use of pesticides and a safety plan for pesticide applicators that protects honeybees, bumblebees and other native bees and pollinators and avoids adverse effects of pesticides on bee populations and other pollinating insects.
- HB 2653: Develop guidelines, educational materials and best practices for beekeeping within urban residential and rural residential areas, including recommendations for ordinances to mitigate nuisance conflicts.

Awards and Honors

  • Student Award, Eastern Apicultural Society (2015)
  • Postgraduate Award, Entomological Society of Canada (2014)     
  • Alexander Graham Bell Graduate Scholarship (CGS-D), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (2011-2014)
  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada 125th Anniversary Employee Award (2012)
  • Student Merit Award, Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturist (1999)
  • Thelma Findlayson Scholarship in Pest Management (1999)

Fun Fact

One of my weaknesses is pollinator europop:
"Bumble bee bump into me,
I am in for pollination"
- Aqua, Bumble Bee (2011)