As of November 2018, I am a post-doc in Dr. Beth Shapiro's lab at the University of California Santa Cruz, and I am currently working on several projects. I use ancient (aDNA) and environmental DNA (eDNA) to answer ecological and evolutionary questions, as well as teach an undergraduate course using eDNA as a framework for STEM education.  I am continuing to update this site with further information about this exciting program!  Stay tuned...

 I completed my PhD in December 2018 at the University of Texas, supervised by Dr. Shalene Jha.  My dissertation research focused on how urban landscapes shape wildlife communities, plant-animal interactions, and affect dispersal, using wild native bees as a model system.  I hope my research can inform conservation efforts of this vital group of pollinators. 


November 2018

Started Post-Doc at UCSC

Check out the CaleDNA website for more info!  

October 10, 2018

Dissertation Defense and Celebration

Public Lecture 10 AM, University of Texas at Austin



Urban Landscape Ecology of Native Bees

Festival Beach Community Garden, Downtown Austin, TX

Living Wall on UT Campus

Cities are expanding rapidly across the globe, with over 60% of humans expected to live in urban areas by 2050.  Although many plant and animal species can persist and thrive in cities, urbanization often has negative consequences for wildlife, by reducing and fragmenting suitable habitat for many species.  Bees are the most important pollinators for both cultivated and wild plants, but very little is known of how urbanization affects bee communities and populations.  I am currently analyzing data from my collection of nearly 200 bee species from Austin and Dallas, TX, collected from natural habitat fragments, farms, and community gardens to better understand how urbanization affects bee community composition across different levels of urbanization. This research has recently been accepted as a paper in Ecological Applications.

This project is a collaboration between the UT School of Architecture and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (LBJWC).  A living wall with a cutting-edge modular design was installed earlier this year outside Goldsmith Hall on UT campus, to provide habitat for native plant and animal wildlife, and to promote ecological awareness among UT staff and students.  I am collaborating with ecologists from LBJWC to monitor plant and invertebrate diversity before and after installation.

    © 2016 Kim Ballare 

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