Our projects:

Bee Conservation and Biodiversity

Flora of a Colombian Cloud Rainforest

Benefits of Downed Wood


Extending Anthophila research through image and trait digitization (Big-Bee)

Bees play a pivotal role in supporting a significant portion of worldwide food production and in pollinating a vast array of wild and cultivated plants. However, they are facing a concerning reduction in their population and variety. To decipher the causes behind this decline, Katja Seltmann, the Director of the Cheadle Center, along with partners from 13 institutions across the US, is spearheading the creation of tools designed to analyze bee characteristics from photographs. This initiative aims to compile extensive datasets of bee traits and images, utilizing specimens from natural history collections to track and understand changes over time.

Big Bee website

Flora of a Colombian Cloud Rainforest

Under the leadership of Greg Wahlert from the Cheadle Center, a project is underway in Colombia's biodiverse Mesenia Reserve, nestled in the Andes and a junction of two biodiversity hotspots. Despite its rich and unique flora, the region's study was long hindered by conflict. Now, with improved conditions, the project aims to extensively catalog the Reserve's flora, collaborating with both American and Colombian institutions. This effort has already uncovered new plant species, underscoring the area's untapped botanical diversity and the urgency to document it amidst rapid economic changes.

collecting in the forest


turning over logs

Understanding the benefits of downed wood in ecosystems

At the Cheadle Center, Chris Evelyn is delving into the crucial role that downed wood plays in supporting wildlife ecosystems. His research emphasizes how fallen trees and branches create a complex habitat, offering shelter, nourishment, and breeding grounds for a myriad of species, especially important endemic amphibians. By examining the intricate interactions between downed wood and wildlife, Evelyn's work aims to shed light on the importance of these natural elements in maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem health.