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!
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 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. 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
The Bees of North Carolina: An Identification Guide
Identifying bees on the wing is known to be tricky. The Bees of North Carolina: An Identification Guide is a beginner’s resource designed to help quickly and generally identify native bees in North Carolina. Developed by experts at NC State Extension, it provides an overview of some of the most common groups of bees in the state. The guide will help users learn to recognize bees according to key characteristics and, eventually, according to their overall appearance.
Check out the FREE PDF: https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/the-bees-of-north-carolina-identification-guide
Or purchase a bound copy: https://uncpress.org/book/9781469659022/the-bees-of-north-carolina/
If you purchase 5+ copies you can get a 25% discount with the code 01NCSU25
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
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.
Videos and Podcast on Hannah's Research
Check out NCSU's Homegrown video: https://homegrown.extension.ncsu.edu/2020/08/bee-wasp-or-fly-identifying-n-c-bees/
Check out this NCSU News article: https://news.ncsu.edu/2020/02/the-buzz-about-native-bees/
Check out NCSU's Homegrown video: https://homegrown.extension.ncsu.edu/2019/08/growing-a-pollinator-garden/
Check out the PolliNation podcast: http://blogs.oregonstate.edu/pollinationpodcast/2019/05/19/97-hannah-levenson-regional-bee-communities-and-the-plants-they-like/
Check out the Tarpy Lab's video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uuwl9QZepoo&feature=youtu.be