Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology

Gemma N. Villagómez G.

PhD student

Email: gemma.villagomez@uni-wuerzburg.de

Office: C015

Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology
University of Würzburg
Am Hubland
97074 Würzburg

  • Stingless bees Biology
  • Tropical Biology
  • Biological rhythms
  • Chemical Ecology
  • Mathematical and Theoretical Biology

The main objective of my PhD is to understand species-specific differences in foraging patterns and resource intake of stingless bee colonies in a tropical ecosystem in Ecuador and Costa Rica. My specific objectives are:
1. Explore the species richness of floral sources visited (pollen and resin via DNA-metabarcoding) and resource intake (i.e. foraging activity, protein content of collected pollen, sugar concentration in collected nectar) of different stingless bee nests.
2. Explore species-specific nutritional preferences (protein and lipid content in pollen, sugar concentration in nectar), floral and resin sources visited by different stingless bees, as well as changes in bee-plant networks over the course of the day.
3. Explore preferences of stingless bees with regard to nectar chemistry using feeding choice and cafeteria experiments.
4. Improve a protocol to extract and quantify fatty acids in pollen samples.

Stingless bee resource collection and foraging activity

Science communication. Co-founder of “Deduci” (science communication and educational project). The project consists of 2 Facebook pages (@Deduci.info, @Ek.deduci) and 1 Instagram account (@ek.deduci) where diverse science content is posted in Spanish for non-academics.

  • 02/2019 - present: PhD candidate Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology, University of Würzburg.
  • 09/2016 – 10/2018: Master of Science in Biology, University of Würzburg.

Master’s Dissertation: "Effects of temperature and photoperiod on the seasonal timing of western honey bee colonies and two wild bulbous plants".

  • 09/2010 – 09/2015: Bachelor in Biology, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), México.

Bachelor’s Dissertation: "Importancia de los heterodímeros PER:CRY y CLOCK:BMAL1 en la oscilación circadiana molecular: un acercamiento matemático". (Importance of the heterodimers PER:CRY and CLOCK:BMAL1 in the molecular circadian oscillation: a mathematical approach)

  • Villagómez GN, Spaethe J., Leonhardt SD. Nectar content preference of the stingless bee Trigona fulviventris (in preparation)
  • Villagómez GN, Keller A., Rasmussen C., Lozano P., Donoso D., Blüthgen N., Leonhardt SD. Differences in resource intake between high resin collectors stingless bees and low resin collectors. (in preparation)
  • Villagomez, GN, Nürnberger, F, Requier, F, Schiele, S, Steffan-Dewenter, I. (2021) Effects of temperature and photoperiod on the seasonal timing of Western honey bee colonies and an early spring flowering plant. Ecol Evol.; 11: 7834– 7849. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.7616