Alexandria Michelle Robinson

Research Interests

Honey bees are the world’s most important pollinator with around a third of all the food we consume relying on the for pollination. However, they are in danger of disappearing from our environment. Although there are many other bee species and pollinating insects, it is the honey bee we rely on most of all. My interest lies within protein digestibility: how does pollen, the main protein source of the honeybee, compare against substitute protein sources that are now on the market for commercial beekeepers and potentially new diets? For honey bees, their primary source of protein is located within pollen grains; however, due to pollens tough outer wall it is difficult to digest for bees to digest and thus access all available protein. Other sources of protein are more easily accessible, and many are already being used in commercial supplementary bee food, but little research has been done to investigate whether these new manmade sources more digestible than pollen, if the bees prefer these alternative protein sources to pollen and if so which of these substitute protein source has optimum digestibility. I have not had the most common career trajectory for those in academia, but unlike many others, I am sure of what I most want out of my life and what I want to do. My experiences can perhaps inspire others so that they can have the courage to follow their dreams, regardless of background, ages, or experiences. I know that I am happiest in the university environment, where in science, working as a team is part of the daily process of doing experiments.

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