Erica Sarro
Erica Sarro
Erica Sarro





Bumble Bee Sociality, Plasticity, & Adaptation: Emphasis on Early-Nesting Queens 

As a PhD candidate in the Woodard Lab, I study a queen's transition from solitary to social living from a behavioral and physiological perspective. 


My current research focuses on the behavioral and reproductive plasticity of early nesting queen bumble bees, with an emphasis on understanding how foraging mechanics, environmental sensitivity, and life history tradeoffs vary among the solitary and social phases of the bumble bee life cycle.

University of California, Riverside

Fall 2017-present


Evolutionary Ecology

As a Research Intern for the Guppy Project, I worked on a mark recapture study on the native killifish, Rivulus hartii, that co-occurs with guppies in Trinidadian mountain streams. This project is looking at the relationship between ecology and evolution in a complex natural system. Traditional theory states that ecology influences evolution, but evolution occurs too slowly to impact ecology. Recent mathematical modeling and theory suggest adaptive evolution can in fact influence ecology, and the Guppy Project is the first study to explore this feedback dynamic in a natural system.  

Arima Valley, Trinidad & Tobago

Summer 2016

Wildlife Biology


As a Paraprofessional at Colorado College, I advised many undergraduate students in data collection techniques and experimental design on a wide variety of projects, ranging from ungulate vigilance studies, to invasive salsola's effect on insect abundance and diversity, to the effect of elk exclosures on riparian plant composition.


Colorado Front Range



Bee Ecology


As cities grow across the globe, understanding how urbanization affects our pollinators becomes important. As a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) student at the University of Minnesota, I used sweep nets and bee bowls to systematically collect bees along an urban to rural gradient to address how urbanization might be impacting bee communities. This included a full data analysis and write up of my results in a senior thesis paper. I presented my findings in a talk at Colorado College's Biology Day.


Twin Cities, MN



Leaf Morphology and Plant Ecology


As part of the Ecological Homogenization of Urban America project, I inputted leaf mass, photos, and species of thousands of leaves from around North America into a database. I then did some preliminary principal component analysis (PCA) and presented my findings in a poster at the Ecological Homogenization of Urban America meeting of 2013 in Minneapolis, MN.


Minneapolis, MN


Fish and Macroinvertebrate Ecology


The Yampa River is the last undammed tributary of the Colorado River. As part of a larger study to determine the effect of dams on the native species in the Colorado River, we used backpack electrofishing techniques to collect fish in the Yampa River that we identified and measured, as well as Surber Samplers to collect macroinvertebrates in different microhabitats along the river. At each site we also collected abiotic conditions such as flow rate, depth, temperature, and microhabitat type (i.e., riffles, runs, pools).


Northwestern CO


Avian Migration and Bird Ecology

As part of larger studies to determine migratory paths, habitat use, and survival rate of various bird species, I mistnetted and tagged songbirds and flammulated owls along various habitat types in the Manitou Experimental Forest.


Woodland Park, CO






Informal Education


As the outreach coordinator for UC Riverside's Entomology Outreach Program, I coordinated with and led events at local schools, parks, and organizations to promote entomology and the sciences with children and adults of diverse backgrounds.


As a Teacher at PoshSplat paint studio, I led public painting classes for groups of all ages and instructed individuals on artwork-specific approaches and techniques. 


As a Zoo Interpretation Intern at the Butterfly Pavilion (an invertebrate zoo), I engaged guests with the exhibits and facilitated a hands-on educational experience for adults and children of all ages and backgrounds.

Undergraduate Education


As a graduate student in the Woodard Lab, I have mentored two undergraduate students through UC Riverside's RISE program and assisted in training and mentoring three additional undergraduates.


As a Paraprofessional at Colorado College, I co-instructed Animal Biology and Biostatistics and Experimental Design courses. I also assisted in field and laboratory experiments for Ecology and Animal Biology courses. I managed the departmental tutoring program and ran review sessions for Animal Biology, Biostatistics and Experimental Design, and Ecology courses.


Summer Camps


In the spring of 2018, I founded and oversaw the development of the first ever UC Riverside Junior Entomologists Summer Camp. I managed applications and safety regulations, developed curriculum, led programs, and taught children ages nine to eleven.

Summer 2011 & 2012

Muscoot Farm Camp is a hands-on summer camp where children get to experience farm life first hand. As a Teacher, I developed curriculum and led programs for children ages five to fourteen, ranging from cooking classes to animal care to ecology hikes.





in memory of Rime.