Hannah K. Levenson

Postdoctoral Research Scholar



Hannah K. Levenson successfully defended her dissertation in May 2021! She is currently working as a Postdoctoral Research Scholar under Dr. Hannah J. Burrack at North Carolina State University.

Hannah has demonstrated experience with coordinated large projects, both in geographic area and personnel. She is also skilled in science communication - through professional, extension, and outreach settings - as well as mentoring. Get in touch to find out more!


Research Interests

As a community ecologist I am broadly interested in investigating how humans impact the environment and exploring ways we can mitigate those impacts. I have a diverse research background including working as a field assistant in The Bahamas on a project evaluating how patch reef quality and predator presence affect fish communities as a way to explore the impacts of reef degradation and overfishing; I worked as a wildlife technician measuring non-target effects of pesticides on honey bee colony survival; and I designed and led an independent research project with Peace Corps Volunteers measuring disease occurrence in managed honey bee colonies in northern rural Peru and evaluating the potential spread of those pathogens to wild and native bees.

My dissertation research focused on evaluating the effectiveness of planting pollinator habitat in agricultural areas as a conservation method to support native bee populations. To do this I traveled across North Carolina and monitored changes to native bee populations in habitat planted on NCDA&CS research stations. The results from this work will provide the most detailed survey of native bees in NC to date. In addition, I evaluated the potential of this habitat to instigate the spread of pathogens between bee species, and measured the effect of the habitat's presence on nearby crop quality and quantity.

Currently, in my postdoctoral research, I am a co-PI on a USDA SCRI CAP grant focused on sustainable SWD management. In this role I am evaluating how cane berry growers make management decisions, specifically surrounding SWD management, when presented with information in extension contexts. I am also evaluating how these decisions relate to conservation efforts and the effects on pollinator populations. Simultaneously, I am participating in a new STEM externship at NCSU in collaboration with 4-H; during the externship, STEM graduate students are trained to lead a short program for 4-H students. We will be evaluating how this experience influences the participating graduate students' identities and future career choices.



sharing research and passions with others

bumble in soybean 1_edited.jpg

Evaluating the impact of increased pollinator habitat on bee visitation and yield metrics in soybean crops

Hannah K. Levenson, April E. Sharp, David R. Tarpy

Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 2022,


• We investigated effects of pollinator habitat in a putative pollinator-independent crop.

• Bee communities differ between soybean fields and pollinator habitat.

• Bees visiting soybean flowers collected soybean pollen.

• Bees in soybean fields far from pollinator habitat gathered more environmental pollen.

• Seed weight increased in soybean fields planted near pollinator habitat.


Selected Accomplishments



NCSU Impact Scholar - $1000

Received December 2021


NCSU's Dept. of Entomology and Plant Pathology's Excellence in Entomology Award - $500

Received June 2021


NCSU STEM Externship with 4-H - $1,500

Received May 2021


1st place - North Carolina Entomological Society's 3-minute thesis competition

Received October 2020


North Carolina Entomological Society's Outstanding PhD Student

Received October 2019


Center for Environmental Farming Systems Graduate Fellow - $10,000

Received July 2019


Southern SARE Graduate Student Grant - $16,500

Received August 2019


Garden Club of America's Centennial Pollinator Fellowship - $4,000

Received March 2019


International Pollinator Conference's Travel Award - $500

Received March 2019

Extension, Outreach, and Presentations

Selected Events


Bee Identification Workshop

Co-created with Assistant Professor, Elsa Youngsteadt, this workshop is a day long course designed to introduce participants to bee identification. Participants receive our identification guide, a workbook, hands on training, and field experience.

North Carolina Pollinator Conservation Alliance

The NCPCA is a partnership of 20+ organizations all focused on supporting the health and diversity of NC's pollinators through protection, restoration, and creation of pollinator habitat. As a founding member, Hannah has participated in outreach and research development.

National Honey Bee Veterinary Consortium Conference

Hannah has given over 20 academic presentations including several invited talks, like the one pictured here. She was invited to give a training presentation at the first ever National Honey Bee Veterinary Consortium which was created by professors at NC State.


Hannah K. Levenson's Full CV


Get in Touch