Samantha Alger

I work to improve the health of both managed and wild pollinators through research, education, and outreach. At UVM, I conduct research on bee disease, teach introductory beekeeping courses, and direct the Vermont Bee Lab which offers disease diagnostic services for Vermont Beekeepers.

Prior to grad school, I spent four years coordinating biological surveys and leading public education programs for non-profit organizations, including monitoring federally endangered American Burying Beetles for Nantucket's reintroduction program, surveying songbirds through montane forests of the Northeast, and developing and instructing environmental education programs for both children and adults.

I recieved my Ph.D. in 2018 here at the University of Vermont, where I studied disease spillover among wild and managed pollinators. As a graduate student,I spearheaded Vermont's involvement with the National Honey Bee Survey- a USDA program aimed at collecting baseline data on bee disease and health. I continue to manage the survey and work closely with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture and Vermont Beekeepers Association.Currently I am serving as Scientific Advisor on the Board of the Vermont Beekeepers Association.




Alger SA, Burnham PA, Brody AK (2019) Flowers as viral hot spots: Honey bees (Apis mellifera) unevenly deposit viruses across plant species. PLoS ONE 14(9)

Alger SA, Burnham PA, Boncristiani HF, Brody AK (2019) RNA virus spillover from managed honeybees (Apis mellifera) to wild bumblebees (Bombus spp.). PLoS ONE 14(6)

P. Alexander Burnham, Alger, S.A., Boncristiani, H.F., Herbert-Dufresne, L., 2019. Flowers as dirty doorknobs: Virus transmission through flowers depends on floral diversity. National Regional Conference on Complex Systems Proceedings.

Alger, S.A., Burnham, P.A., 2019. Commercially grown milkweed as habitat and forage for monarch butterflies and other pollinators, 2018 Milkweed Production Trials-Combined Report. University of Vermont Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Program.

Alger, S.A., Burnham, P.A., Lamas, Z.S, Brody, A.K., Richardson, L.R., 2018. Homesick: Impacts of migratory beekeeping on honey bee pests, pathogens, and colony size. PeerJ.


Associations and Affiliations

• Environmental Scientist/Pollinator Specialist, Vanasse Hangen Brustlin (VHB) VT

• Scientific Advisor, Board of the Vermont Beekeepers Association

Samantha Alger

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Pollinator Ecology, Habitat Restoration and Conservation, Public Outreach, Data Collection and Analysis



  • Ph.D. Biology, University of Vermont 2018
  • B.A. Biology, University of Rhode Island, 2009
  • B.S. General Business, University of Rhode Island, 2009


  1. Recent Research
  2. Facebook
  3. Twitter @VTBeeLab
  4. Instagram vermontbeelab

Courses Taught

Introduction to Beekeeping PSS 195