Dr. Brenna Traver

woamn smiling, standing between two trees.
Associate Professor, Program Coordinator, Biology

Brenna Traver is a Connecticut native with undergraduate degrees in both biology and biochemistry from Eastern Connecticut State University. She went on to earn both her graduate degrees at Virginia Tech. She received a USDA NIFA postdoctoral fellowship and then accepted a position at Penn State. Brenna is an active adviser that has worked closely with both academic affairs and student affairs. She teaches molecular biology and genetics courses and her favorite, the bee class. 

Disease transmission has always been of interest. Her masters research was working on genetic control strategies for vector-borne infectious diseases, particularity those spread by mosquitoes. And then her Phd was working on the infection cycle and transmission of a newly described pathogen in honey bees. Her postdoctoral fellowship investigated the impact of different in-hive pesticides on pathogens and immunity in honey bees. She continues to focus on pollinator decline. Of primary interest is how pathogens, specifically Nosema ceranae a gut pathogen, are impacting honey bee colonies. She has given over 40 presentations at both scientific meetings and at extension events, is co-author on more than 40 additional ­­­­­­ presentations, has over 30 publications in peer-reviewed articles, conference proceedings, extension articles, and a book chapter. She works closely with undergraduates, working with over 20 students on research projects since starting at Penn State. 

PhD, Entomology, Virginia Tech

MS, Life Sciences, Virginia Tech

BS, Biology and Biochemistry, Eastern Connecticut State University