This January, most members of the Tufts Pollinator Initiative (TPI) traveled to Costa Rica as part of Tufts University's Tropical Ecology and Conservation course. In this course, students spend the fall semester preparing a proposal and planning a research project for the tropics. Over winter break, the students visit the tropics to carry out their project!
In 2016, I took the class as a graduate student. My partner, Nick Dorian (who was an undergraduate at the time) and I studied mineral preferences of stingless bees when foraging for water. This year, Nick and I returned to Costa Rica but as graduate teaching assistant and field supervisor. While helping the students, Nick and I carried out a project of our own: mineral preferences of stingless bees when foraging for...meat! We're in the process of writing up our results, but you can learn more about our project and the neotropical pollinators we saw in TPI's most recent blog post here.