My scientific interest focuses on causes and consequences of social evolution, and I use honey bees as models to evaluate these scientific problems at the genetic, cellular, individual and societal level of biological organization. Accordingly, my research methods comprise bioinformatics, genetic analyses, studies of cells, behavioral and physiological observations and experiments, and demographic and ecological approaches. Social insects fascinate me because their societies add an interesting level of complexity, many social insects groups have experienced a broad ecological success and some species are very important to humans. Some specific current research projects include studies of honey be reproductive traits in the context of the reproductive ground plan hypothesis of social evolution, genetic characterizations of complex traits that are important in social organization, the investigation of honey bee intestinal stem cells, several biodemographic studies of aging, and comparative genomics projects that use Asian honey bee species to find resistance mechanisms to Varroa mites and investigate social genome structure, focusing on the exceptional recombination rates of social insects.
Rueppell O., Meier S.*, Deutsch R. Multiple mating but not recombination causes quantitative increase in offspring genetic diversity for varying genetic architectures. PLoS One, 7(10): e47220. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0047220
Page R.E., Fondrk M.K., Rueppell O. (2012) Complex pleiotropy characterizes the pollen hoarding syndrome in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 66: 1459-1466. doi:10.1007/s00265-012-1400-x.
Page R.E., Rueppell O., Amdam G.V. (2012) Genetics of reproduction and regulation of honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) social behavior. Annual Review of Genetics, 46: 97-119. doi:10.1146/annurev-genet-110711-155610
Rueppell, O., Phaincharoen, M., Kuster, R.D., Tingek, S. (2011) Cross-species correlation between queen mating numbers and worker ovary sizes suggests kin conflict may influence ovary size evolution in honeybees. Naturwissenschaften, 98: 795-799. doi:10.1007/s00114-011-0822-z
Willard L.E., Hayes A.M., Wallrichs M.A., Rueppell, O. (2011)Food manipulation in honey bees induces physiological responses at the individual and colony level. Apidologie, 42:508-518. doi:10.1007/s13592-011-0006-z
Graham, A.M., Munday, M.D., Kaftanoglu, O., Page, R.E. JR., Amdam, G.V., Rueppell, O. (2011) Support for the reproductive ground plan hypothesis of social evolution and major QTL for ovary traits of Africanized worker honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). BMC Evolutionary Biology, 11: 95. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-11-95.
Rueppell O., Metheny J.D., Linksvayer T.A., Fondrk M.K., Page R.E. Jr., Amdam G.V. (2011) Genetic architecture of ovary size and asymmetry in European honeybee workers. Journal of Heredity, 106: 894-903. doi:10.1038/hdy.2010.138, PMID: 21048673
Rueppell O., Hayworth* M.K., Ross* N.P. (2010) Altruistic self-removal of health-compromised honey bee workers from their hive.
Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 23: 1538-1546. doi:10.1111/j.1420-9101.2010.02022.x
Meznar* E.R., Gadau J., Koeniger N., Rueppell O. (2010) Comparative linkage mapping suggests a high recombination rate in all honey bees. Journal of Heredity, 101: S118-S126. doi:10.1093/jhered/esq002