Dr. Dirk Steinke

Dirk grew up in a suburb of Frankfurt/Main, Germany far away enough from the big city to be able to spend pretty much every day of his childhood outdoors in the surrounding fields and forests. He was interested in all things living but his real passion was always fish and together with his father he bred hundreds of freshwater fishes from around the world especially cichlids from the African Rift Valley Lakes some of which he had a chance to study later on during his PhD work.

Dirk did his Masters in Zoology, Ecology and Evolution at the Johann-Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt and his PhD in Evolutionary Biology at the University of Konstanz. In 2006 he moved with his family to Canada and joined the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics (CBG) at the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario (BIO). He has been involved in DNA barcoding research for almost 10 years and since 2012 he leads CBG’s Education and Outreach team. Now he spends far more time in front of a computer than outdoors, writing for his blog and many other outlets, developing learning programs and activities, and teaching distance education courses and in virtual classrooms.

Lucie Vézina

Lucie is a master’s student co-supervised by Drs. Dirk Steinke and Nigel Raine in the Integrative Biology department at the University of Guelph. She completed a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology at the University of New Brunswick in 2020. Lucie will be the new point of contact for Bees@Schools and she will be using the data from 2019 to 2022 in her thesis, looking to see if there are patterns between the bees and climate factors.

Lucie was born and raised in New Brunswick and her parents passed on their deep love for nature and the outdoors. After working in a floral evolutionary ecology lab, Lucie became interested in big-picture patterns and how plants and pollinators interact. She is passionate about the environment and making science more accessible.

Feel free to follow Lucie on Twitter at LucieVez for any updates!

Sage Handler

Sage is a master’s student who is co-supervised by Dr. Steinke and Dr. Nigel Raine in the School of Environmental Sciences. She completed a Bachelor of Science in Ecology at the University of Guelph in 2018. She was the main point of contact for the Bees@Schools project, and she will use data from the project for her thesis.

Sage grew up on a small, organic farm and has always enjoyed being outdoors more than indoors. She is a 4th generation beekeeper and loves to help her dad in the apiary. Since discovering that there are hundreds of other types of beautiful, wild bees, she knew that she wanted to research them. Sage has been working with wild bees since 2017 when she joined the Raine Lab as an undergraduate research assistant.

Go follow Sage on Twitter at HandlerofBees to see more updates from the project and life as a graduate student in general!

Katerina Coveny

Katerina is in her fourth year of the BSc Biological Sciences program at the University of Guelph with a minor in Ecology. She has been assisting with the Bees@Schools program since it began in 2019, doing everything from building nest boxes, to opening occupied tubes, and now further DNA barcoding! After completing her degree, she is hoping to pursue research and complete a masters degree.