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Postdoctoral Research Associate
346C Agricultural Hall
1450 Linden Drive
Madison WI 53706
PhD., 2009, University of Wisconsin-Madison
STS 201: Where Science Meets Society
Sai joined the Dept. of Community & Environmental Sociology very recently (September 2009) as a Postdoctoral Research Associate. Trained primarily as an entomologist, Sai's interests include agricultural policy, social insects, environmental sociology, human-animal relationships and Science & Technology studies. Sai has embarked on an interdisciplinary project that will study both socio-political and biological propositions in relation to honey bee health. Honey bee pollinator populations have been declining alarmingly in the U.S. and others parts of the world over the past two decades. Impaired honey bee health is estimated to cause the U.S. agricultural sector losses to the tune of $15 billion annually. But current research to restore pollinator populations has not adequately considered the role of "upstream" socio-political factors in the complex links that can eventually culminate in the proximate biological causes of honey bee decline. Socio-political forces, such as those influencing the political economy of the agricultural sector, could very well shape the kinds of beekeeping being practiced, which in turn can affect honey bee and human health. Working in close collaboration with Dr. Daniel Kleinman (Community & Environmental Sociology, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison), Sai is analyzing the historical, cultural and political dimensions of beekeeping practices. Sai will further collaborate with Dr. Marla Spivak, a honey bee biologist (Entomology, Univ. of Minnesota), in order to investigate the involvement of a widely used pesticide, imidacloprid, in the ongoing decimation of honey bee colonies.