Photograph of Dr. Mary Harris

Dr. Mary Harris

  • Assistant Professor Emeritus


Contact Info

105 Science II

Area of Expertise

  • Pollinators


  • Ph.D., Entomology, University of GeorgiaB.A., Biology, University of California
  • M.S., Wildlife Biology, University of Montana
  • M.S., Integrated Pest Management, University of California
  • B.A., Biology, University of California at Los Angeles



  • Principles of Wildlife Management and Conservation (AECL 231X)
  • Pollination Biology (NREM 305)
  • Forest Insect and Disease Ecology (FOR 416)
  • International Field Trips (NREM 494)


My research program addresses issues of pollinator biodiversity and habitat quality as well as environmental hazards to pollinators in an agricultural setting. Currently members of my lab are actively studying pollinator habitat provision in the intensively farmed landscape of Iowa through investigations of native bee species use of tallgrass prairie strips within row crops using the STRIPs practice myself and colleagues developed in watersheds at the Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge near Prairie City. Working with the NRCS and IDALS we are currently identifying and assisting landowners in adopting the STRIPs practice. More information. With funding provided by FSA we are beginning studies of current CRP contour strips in Iowa to determine the efficacy of existing plant communities in providing habitat for native bees. Through Pollinator Partnership we have completed the first year of a project investigating exposure of honey bees foraging on resources potentially contaminated with neonicotinoid dust generated at the time of planting treated corn seed. 



  • Hladik, M. L., S. Bradbury, L. A. Schulte, M. Helmers, C. Witte, D. W. Kilpin, J. D. Garrett and M. Harris. 2017. Neonicotinoid insecticide removal by prairie strips in row-cropped watersheds with historical seed coating use. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 241 (2017) 160–167.
  • Adam G. Dolezal, Stephen D. Hendrix, Nicole A. Scavo, Mary A. Harris, M. Joseph Wheelock, Matthew E. O’Neal, Amy L. Toth. 2016. Honey bee viruses in wild bees: viral prevalence, loads, and experimental inoculation. Published: November 10, 2016
  • Leanne M. Martin, Mary A. Harris, and Brian J. Wilsey. 2015. Phenology and temporal niche overlap differ between novel, exotic- and native-dominated grasslands for plants, but not for pollinators. Biological Invasions. 17:2633-2644.
  • Martin, Leanne M., H. Wayne Polley, Pedram P. Daneshgar, Mary A. Harris, Brian J. Wilsey. 2014. Biodiversity, photosynthetic mode, and ecosystem services differ between native and novel ecosystems. Oecologia in press.