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Fall 2019 - Present: PhD Candidate, Drexel University

  • Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science
  • Advisor: Dr. Sean O'Donnell

  • 2014-2017: M.Sc., The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Entomology and Agroecology

  • Advisors: Dr. Sharoni Shafir, Dr. Ofer Feinerman(Weizmann Institute of Science)
  • Thesis: “Reliability and the waggle dance: Honest honey bees dance more and attract more followers than dishonest bees”. First author manuscript in progress.

  • 2008-2012: B.A., Oberlin College, Biology, minor in Environmental Studies

  • Senior Research Advisor: Dr. Mary Garvin
  • Senior Research Project: “A Supplement to Theodore Mitchell’s Bees of the Eastern United States”.


    2011: “Sustainability and Environmental Action”, School For International Training (Australia)

  • Investigation of alternatives to current systems that are degrading the environment and increasing inequality.
  • Research Project: Asian honeybee incursion in Australia: The eradication program and effect on local beekeepers and farmers

  • September, 2021

    Be'er Sheva, and collaboration with Volcani Institute , Israel
  • Field collection and micro-CT scanning for 3D imaging of isopods

  • May, 2021

    Sde Boker, Ben-Gurion U., Desert Research Station, Israel
  • Collection and behavioral observation of early season isopods
  • Hosted by: Dr. Itamar Giladi, BGU

    August 2020

    Sde Boker, Ben-Gurion U., Desert Research Station, Israel
  • Collection and behavioral observation of late season isopods

  • December 2019

    Sde Boker, Ben-Gurion U., Desert Research Station, Israel
  • Excavation of overwintering isopods

  • August 2019

    Sde Boker, Ben-Gurion U., Desert Research Station, Israel
  • Field expedition (seed harvesting ant thermal biology)
  • Fall 2019 - Present: PhD Candidate

    Drexel University, Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science
    Laboratory of Dr. Sean O'Donnell
  • Thesis: Parental care effects on brain development in a social desert isopod

  • 2018-2019: Apiary and Research Specialist

    The Pennsylvania State University, Department of Entomology
    Laboratory of Dr. Christina Grozinger
  • Philadelphia Urban Pollinator Project with Dr. Douglas Sponsler
  • Waggle dance decoding to investigate honey bee foraging behavior in an urban landscape
  • Wild bee diversity and floral diet study with citizen science emphasis

  • 2017-2019: Research Specialist

    University of Pennsylvania, Department of Neuroscience, Department of Otorhinolaryngology
    Dr. Maria Geffen's Laboratory of Auditory Coding
  • Cortical mechanisms driving changes in auditory perception following emotional learning
  • Flexible categorization of sound frequency in the auditory cortex

  • 2013-2014: Research Specialist

    The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, B. Triwaks Bee Research Center
    Laboratory of Dr. Sharoni Shafir, post-doctoral mentor Dr. Harmen Hendriksma
  • Decision making, nutrition in honey bees, and pollinator garden design
  • Middle author on manuscript

  • 2012-2013: Research Specialist

    University of Pennsylvania, Department of Biology
    Laboratory of Dr. Timothy Linksvayer, Dr. Sandra Rehan (now York University)
  • Collective decision making and age polyethism in ants
  • Ant tracking software

  • 2011-2012: Research Student

    Oberlin College, Department of Biology
    Laboratory of Dr. Mary Garvin
  • Identification of bees from reclaimed and active coal mining sites
  • Construction of native plants and pollinator teaching garden

  • Winter 2012: Research Assistant

    University of Pennsylvania, Department of Biology
    Laboratory of Dr. Daniel Janzen
  • Biodiversity inventory project

  • Spring 2011: Field Work Researcher

    Australian Department of the Environment and Primary Industries
  • Field work and agricultural surveys for the Asian Honeybee Containment Program

  • Winter 2010: Collections Intern

    Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
    Advisor: Dr. John Rawlins
  • Illustration, collections, and data management
  • O'Donnell S, Bulova S, Caponera V, Oxman K, Giladi I (2020) Species differ in worker body size effects on critical thermal limits in seed-harvesting desert ants (Messor ebeninus and M. arenarius). Insectes Sociaux. 67, pages 473–479.

  • Wood KC, Angeloni C, Oxman K, Clopath C, Geffen MN (2020) Neuronal activity in sensory cortex predicts the specificity of learning. bioRxiv. 2020.06.02.128702.

  • Oxman KL, Feinerman O, Shafir S. Reliability and the waggle dance: Honest honey bees dance more and attract more followers than dishonest bees. Manuscript in preparation.
  • Hendriksma HP, Oxman KL, Shafir S (2014) Amino acid and carbohydrate tradeoffs by honey bee nectar foragers and their implications for plant-pollinator interactions. Journal of Insect Physiology. 69, 56-64.

  • 2021-2022: Louis and Bessie Stein Family Fellowship - Exchanges with Israeli Uni. ($6000)
  • 2020: Funding for Research and Partnership Building - from the Office of Global Engagement & Education Abroad ($1500)
  • 2019: Drexel CoAS - BEES Graduate Student Travel Award ($500)
  • 2016: Lily Tepper Memorial Award of Excellence for Graduate Students ($2700)
  • 2016: Gabriel Triwaks Memorial Award for Research with Honey Bees
  • Summer 2021: Curatorial Assistant

    Drexel University
    Academy of Natural Sciences
    Department of Entomology: wild bee identification

    Winter 2021: Teaching Assistant

    Drexel University
    "BIO 389: Gross Anatomy II Laboratory"

    Winter 2020: Teaching Assistant

    Drexel University
    "BIO 124: Evolution and Organismal Biology (Laboratory)"

    Fall 2019, Fall 2020: Teaching Assistant

    Drexel University
    "ENVS 101: Intro to Environmental Science (Field Methods)"

    Spring 2017: Teaching Assistant

    The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
    "Apiculture: Beekeeping and Apiary Management" (B.Sc. seniors)

    2014-2015: Lead Educator

    The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Youth Science Center
    “Form & Function in Honey Bee Architecture" – intro to the scientific method
    Designed and led seven-month workshop (gifted middle schoolers)

    2020 Women in Natural Sciences – high school enrichment

    Presentation: “My Adventures in Ecology”

    2020 Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

    MLK Jr. Enviro. Justice Celebration: Urban bee ecology

    2019 - 2020: Fairmount Park Conservancy

    Volunteer Ambassador

    2018 - Present: Philadelphia Beekeepers Guild

    Philadelphia Honey Festival, and Science Festival - educational demos and observation hive (volunteer)

    2018: Judith Creed Homes for Adult Independence

    life skills workshop (volunteer)

    2012-2013: Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University Department of Education

    Exhibit Manager Live Butterflies

    2012-2013: Philadelphia Zoo, Department of Education

    Conservation Educator

    2012 & 2013: Camp Galil

    Ropes Course and Camping Trip Manager

    Winter 2011: WWOOF NZ: The Animal Sanctuary & Wilderland Sustainable Living

    Wildlife Rehabilitation Volunteer and Permaculture Intern

    2020-present: International Union for the Study of Social Insects
    2019-present: Animal Behavior Society
    2019-present: Israel Zoological Society
    2019-2020: Fairmount Park conservency
    2017-present: Philadelphia Beekeeper’s Guild
    2017-present: Entomological Society of America
    2014-2017: Entomological Society of Israel

    December 2020: Biodiversity, Earth & Environmental Science Dept., Drexel University

    (Yearly Graduate Research Seminar)
    “Social behavior and brain development: Does biparental care affect brain tissue investment in a desert isopod?”

    October 2020: Organismal biology, ecology and evolution discussion group, Drexel University

    (Departmental talk)
    “Why is visual art valuable in science?”

    July 2020: Animal Behavior Society 2020 Virtual Conference

    (Accepted talk)
    “Dig, draw, repeat: Illustrating arthropod behavior at the beginning of a research project.”

    May 2020: Office of Global Engagement’s 5th Annual International Research Showcase

    (Accepted talk), Drexel University, virtual
    “Digging holes in the Negev Desert: a neuroanatomical study of a social and terrestrial crustacean.”

    Feb 2020 (postponed): Social Insects of the Northeast Region Meeting (SINNERS)

    (Accepted talk), Brooklyn, NY
    “Human awareness of social arthropod behavior: Visual models”

    Jan 2020: Annual Biology Department Symposium

    (Accepted talk), Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY
    “Seasonal variation in honey bee foraging behavior across Philadelphia's urban landscape”

    Dec 2019: The 56th Meeting of the Zoological Society of Israel

    (Accepted talk), Jerusalem, Israel
    “Decoded honey bee dances reveal seasonal transition from broadly distributed to spatially discrete foraging in Philadelphia’s urban landscape”

    Oct 2019: Protecting Pollinators in Urban Landscapes Conference

    (Invited talk), Cincinnati, OH.
    "Section: Pollinators in the urban environment: coping with a complex landscape”

    Nov 2018: Entomological Society of America, Canada, and British Columbia Joint Meeting

    (Poster presentation), Vancouver, BC.
    “Reliability and the waggle dance: Honest bees dance more and attract more followers than dishonest bees”

    2018: Hebrew University of Jerusalem Beekeepers Association, Spring Conference

    (Invited talk), Rehovot, Israel.
    “Reliability and the waggle dance”

    2017: The 35th Annual Entomological Society of Israel Meeting

    (accepted talk), Jerusalem, Israel
    “Inconsistencies of the waggle dance: How do recruits react to a lying dancer?”

    Undergraduate students:

  • Daouda Njie (Drexel University '22), Study of brain anatomy with the assistance of visual illustrations (Hemilepistus reaumuri)
  • Margaret Denbleyker (Lafayette College ’21), during Geffen Lab animal behavior internship at UPenn
  • Shiran Yona (Hebrew U ’17), honey bee behavior
  • Maor Zavitan (Hebrew U ’17), honey bee behavior
  • Li-Byarlay H., Boncristiani H., Howell G., Herman J., Clark L., Strand M.K., Tarpy D., Rueppell O. 2020. Transcriptomic and epigenomic dynamics of honey bees in response to lethal viral infection. Frontiers in genetics. 11, 1056

  • Rehan S.M., Berens A.J., Toth A.L. 2014. At the brink of eusociality: transcriptomic correlates of worker behavior in a small carpenter bee. BMC Evolutionary Biology. 14, 260.

  • Rehan S.M., Rotella A., Onuferko T.M., Richards M.H. 2013. Colony disturbance and solitary nest initiation by workers in the obligately eusocial sweat bee, Halictus ligatus. Insectes Sociaux. 60, 389-392.

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    HTML, CSS, 3D Modeling (Google SketchUp), Systems Modeling (STELLA), digital graphic design (Sketch, iPad Illustrations)