Dr. Christina M. Grozinger, ESA Fellow (2018)
Dr. Christina M. Grozinger, distinguished professor of entomology and director for the Center of Pollinator Research at Pennsylvania State University, was elected as an ESA Fellow in 2018. Grozinger is internationally recognized for her integrative studies on the proximate and ultimate mechanisms underpinning social behavior and health in bees and for her advocacy for research, education, and conservation of pollinators.
Grozinger was born in Montreal, Canada, in 1975 and emigrated with her family to the United States in 1978. Grozinger obtained her B.Sc. from McGill University in 1997, with a dual degree in chemistry and biology and certificate of proficiency in German. She was awarded a National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship for her studies on histone deacetylases in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University with Stuart Schreiber, obtaining her M.A. (1999) and Ph.D. (2001). Subsequently, Grozinger was awarded a Beckman Institute Fellowship to join Gene Robinson's group at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, to examine the neurogenomic basis of pheromone-mediated behavior. In 2004, she joined the faculty at North Carolina State University as an assistant professor of insect genomics. In 2008, she joined the Department of Entomology at Penn State as an associate professor, became the Director for the Center for Pollinator Research in 2009, and was named a Distinguished Professor of Entomology in 2015.
Grozinger uses a trans-disciplinary approach encompassing genomics, physiology, neurobiology, behavior, chemical ecology, and ecological modeling. Her studies examining the mechanisms mediating cooperation and conflict in insect societies reveal a nuanced communication system that interfaces with epigenetic and transcriptional networks to shape individual and group behavior. Her studies on pollinator health evaluate the impacts of biotic and abiotic stressors at the molecular, physiological, and behavioral level to design strategies to mitigate and improve resilience to these stressors. She has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles with more than 10,000 citations and served as the principal or co-principal investigator on grants totaling $16.5 million, with $7.5 million directly supporting her program. Grozinger is dedicated to supporting the next generation of scientists, mentoring 45 undergraduates, 15 Ph.D. and six M.Sc. graduate students, and 13 postdoctoral scholars, many of whom received prestigious awards from NSF, USDA-NIFA-AFRI, US-Israel BARD, Sigma Xi, and the Barry Goldwater Foundation.
Grozinger actively promotes entomology to the public, stakeholders, policymakers, and international scientific community. She has organized multiple workshops, symposia, and conferences; obtained funding for undergraduate and graduate training programs; facilitated collaborative networks; and disseminated her research broadly, with 95 invited scientific presentations and more than 80 outreach and extension presentations. She has taken leadership roles in the Entomological Society of America and the International Union for the Study of Social Insects. Grozinger's achievements are recognized though multiple awards, including the NSF Faculty Early Career Development Award, Harbaugh Faculty Scholars Award for Excellence in Teaching & Learning, James Hambleton Memorial Award for excellence in apiculture, Black Award for Excellence in Research, and Outstanding Postdoctoral Mentor Award.
Grozinger is married to a fellow entomologist, Harland Patch. They are the proud parents of an aspiring entomologist, Evelyn Patch.
(updated August, 2018)