Robert C. Anderson Memorial Award 2020
Ania Majewska, who completed her Ph.D. in July 2019, is a postdoctoral research fellow at Emory University. She studies the evolution of pathogen virulence in response to imperfect vaccination. For her doctoral research, Majewska studied how the choices made by gardeners affect insect pollinators, which are declining globally due to habitat loss, pesticide use and other causes. Planting pollinator gardens to help reverse this decline is growing in popularity. Studies have shown these gardens can provide food and reproductive resources for pollinators, however some species can also be exposed to higher risks of predation, parasite infection and harmful chemicals. Majewska focused on the monarch butterfly and examined how garden habitats can influence monarch abundance, survival, reproduction and exposure to pathogens and other natural enemies. She integrated empirical field and lab work with mathematical modeling and meta-analysis, illuminating the potential benefits and unintended negative effects of providing pollinator habitats in human-modified landscapes.