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WHO WE ARE

Dr. Olivia Carril and Dr. Joseph Wilson are the brains behind the bees in your backyard. Read below to get to know us.

Olivia Carril has been studying bees for over 20 years in ecosystems around the world.  She received her B.S. from Utah State University, as well as her M.Sc.   For her Master's she conducted a long-term inventory of the bee fauna of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, exploring the relationships between bee diversity and habitat characteristics.  She received her PhD from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where she focused on one bee genus, Diadasia, and its host flower, exploring the role of floral color and scent in attracting the bee.  More recently she coauthored The Bees in Your Backyard:  A Field Guide to North America's Bees.  She is currently working on surveys of the bees of Rio Grande del Norte National Monument and Bandelier National Monument, as well as two more books on bees.

Joseph Wilson grew up in Utah and was biologically inclined from birth, in fact at the age of 2 he declared to his parents that when he grew up he wanted to be a lion. While he didn’t quite make it to lionhood, his academic studies in biology at Utah State University provided the training to be the next best thing, a professor of biology. His research focuses primarily on the evolution and ecology of bees and wasps. Why bees and wasps? Well, Joseph says that the lives of bees and wasps provide as much drama, mystery, humor, and intrigue as any prime time TV show, but without the commercials. As a way to share his fascination of bees, Joseph, along with a colleague, recently authored a book “The Bees in Your Backyard: A Guide to North America's Bees.” He has been invited to share his knowledge about bees on NPR, Canada Public Radio, and at speaking events across the country. Joseph loves that his research enables him, with his wife and 3 kids, to travel around the country collecting and photographing the beautiful bees and wasps that live all around us.