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Sheila Colla - York University. Toronto, ON, CA

Sheila Colla

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies | York University

Toronto, ON, CANADA

Dr. Colla is an interdisciplinary Conservation Biologist interested in pollinator conservation and evidence-based policy.



Dr. Sheila Colla is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Her research deals with the conservation of at-risk species including native pollinators and wildflowers. She also works with NGOs and policymakers to advise conservation management across North America. In 2014, she launched a North American Citizen Science project,, with various partners. This allows the public to help build a long term database of bumblebees which can be used to look at changes in abundance and distribution over time in light of global change.

Industry Expertise (3)

Environmental Services

Writing and Editing


Areas of Expertise (6)

Conservation Biology



Environmental Policy

Wildlife Management

Protected Areas

Accomplishments (2)

Liber Ero Fellow (professional)


This fellowship seeks to support early-career scientists to conduct and communicate world-class research that informs conservation and management issues relevant to Canada. Conservation science includes natural, social, and interdisciplinary research pursuits.

The Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships-Doctoral Program (CGS D) (professional)


The Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships-Doctoral Program provide financial support to high calibre scholars who are engaged in a doctoral program in the natural sciences or engineering. The CGS D will be offered to the top-ranked applicants and the next tier of meritorious applicants will be offered a PGS D. This support allows these scholars to fully concentrate on their studies and seek out the best research

Education (2)

York University: PhD, Biology 2012

University of Toronto, St. George Campus: Honours B.Sc., Zoology 2005

Affiliations (3)

  • Deputy Chair, Committee on the Status of At-Risk Species in Ontario (COSSARO)
  • Pollinator Advisory Group, City of Toronto, Co-Chair Biodiversity & Habitat subgroup
  • Science Advisor, Wildlife Preservation Canada

Languages (1)

  • English

Media Appearances (4)

Fight of the bumble bee

The Walrus  print

Honeybee colonies are collapsing around the world, putting food production in danger. We may need Canada’s indigenous pollinators to save the day

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How the Bees You Know are Killing the Bees You Don’t

Inside Science  online

Commercially managed bumblebees and honey bees may be contributing to wild pollinator decline.

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To bee or not to bee: Endangered species vanishing without explanation

Postmedia News  print

ORONTO – Sheila Colla wades into the pye weeds, her net swooping over the pink flowers. “This is bumble bee heaven,” she says, as she catches a bee and nudges it from the net into a small plastic vial for inspection. It’s a lemon cuckoo bumble bee, one of the strange cast of characters in the bee world. The cuckoo bee invades colonies, usurps the queen and enslaves her workers. There is no sign, however, of the rusty-patched bumble bee that Colla has been searching for all summer. It used to be one of the most common bees in southern Ontario and Quebec but is now one of the rarest....

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The Bees' Needs

TVO The Agenda  tv

The past few years have seen Ontario honey bees dying off at an alarming rate, with a number of factors likely contributing to the problem. The province of Ontario recently curbed the use of neonicotinoid, a powerful pesticide linked with bee health. The Agenda looks at that move, along with other work being done to safeguard nature's pollinators.

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Articles (1)

The Bumble Bees of North America: An Identification Guide

Princeton University Press

A landmark publication, Bumble Bees of North America sets the standard for guides and the study of these important insects. The best guide yet to the 46 recognized bumble bee species in North America north of Mexico. Up-to-date taxonomy includes previously unpublished results. Detailed distribution maps.

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