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Deborah O'Dell - University of Mary Washington. Fredericksburg, VA, US

Deborah O'Dell

Professor of Biology | University of Mary Washington

Fredericksburg, VA, UNITED STATES

Dr. O'Dell performs research into how bees use magnetic fields to orient themselves.

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Biography

Can bees smell your fear? Is there a connection between cell phone towers and honey? These are just a few of the questions being explored by Deborah O’Dell, professor of biology at the University of Mary Washington.

According to Dr. O’Dell, bees can’t smell your fear, but they can smell your nervous body odor.

“When afraid, a person sweats, discharging ‘does not belong in hive’ chemicals,” says Dr. O’Dell. “When bees detect that, they produce an alarm pheromone that may signal others to attack.”

So what is the solution? Always wear strong, unscented deodorant around bees.

Due to her studies of magnetic orientation in bees, Dr. O’Dell also is interested in recent studies suggesting that bees living near cell phone towers may become disoriented and produce less honey.

A member of the Society for Neuroscience, Dr. O’Dell is an expert on the structure and function of the nervous system, magnetic orientation in animals and developmental neurobiology. Much of her research focuses on the function and development of nervous systems, including bees, and the role of inflammation in Alzheimer’s disease. She also won a 2010 VSO research grant in partnership with UMW Associate Professor of Biology Andrew Dolby for their project, “Enzyme Immunoassay Quantification of Heat Shock Protein 60,” and its application to avian conservation biology.

Areas of Expertise (7)

Biology Neuroscience Magnetic Orientation in Animals Developmental Neurobiology Alzheimer's Disease Learning and Memory Learning & Memory

Education (2)

State University of New York at Stony Brook: Ph.D., Developmental Biology 1985

Ursinus College: B.Sc., Biology 1979

Affiliations (3)

  • Society for Neuroscience : Member
  • Virginia Academy of Science the Society for Developmental Biology
  • Beta Eta Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma

Media Appearances (2)

Can Bees Actually Smell Fear?

Maxim  online

2014-09-30

They can’t smell your fear, but they can smell your nervous B.O. “When afraid, a person sweats, discharging ‘does not belong in hive’ chemicals,” says Deborah O’Dell, associate professor of biology at the University of Mary Washington. “When bees detect that, they produce an alarm pheromone that may signal others to attack.” So, always wear strong, unscented deodorant around bees...

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Magnetic Orientation in Bees

With Good Reason  online

2012-09-01

Also featured: Deborah O’Dell (University of Mary Washington) studies magnetic orientation in bees, which, like homing pigeons, use magnetic fields to orientate themselves. She’s interested in recent studies that suggest that bees living near cell phone towers may become disoriented and produce less honey...

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