Jonathan Snow headshot

Jonathan Snow

Associate Professor of Biological Sciences


Biology, Neuroscience & Behavior


1006 Altschul Hall


The primary focus of our current research is the cellular stress responses of the honey bee, a species that is crucial to agricultural and ecological systems. Honey bee colonies in the United States and elsewhere have suffered from an increased rate of die-off in recent years, likely stemming from a complex set of interacting stresses that include nutritional deficiencies due to loss of appropriate forage, chemical poisoning from pesticides, changes to normal living conditions brought about through large-scale beekeeping practices, myriad environmental changes due to climate change, and infection by insect parasites and pathogenic microbes.

My research program now focuses on two main questions to help understand the challenges facing honey bee colonies and to generate solutions for use by beekeepers in the field. First, we believe that an important aspect for understanding how the stressors listed above impact honey bees requires defining specific common cellular processes that are impacted by multiple stressors. To that end we have focused on how honey bees respond to stresses thought to play a role in honey bee health and disease at the cellular level. Specifically we have begun to characterize the pathways of the proteostatic network in bees. Second, we have focused more directly on one stressor, the infection of honey bees by the microsporidia species Vairimorpha (Nosema) ceranae. We have begun to characterize the cellular responses to these same stressors in this key pathogen of the honey bee, focusing again on the pathways of the proteostatic network. The goal is to uncover elements that are unique to V. ceranae, and thus offer avenues for the development of novel therapeutics that have minimal impacts on the honey bee hosts.

Using the honey bee as a model also promises to improve our understanding of the dialogue between humans and our environment and will help move our society toward a more sustainable future.

  • B.A., Williams College
  • Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences Program, University of California, San Francisco
  • Research Fellow, Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Harvard University

  • Immunology
  • Cellular Stress Responses
  • Signal transduction
  • Regulation of gene expression

  • BIOL BC1502 Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology
  • BIOL BC3310 Cell Biology
  • BIOL BC3311 Laboratory in Cell Biology
  • BIOL BC3590 Senior Seminar in Immunology
  • BIOL BC3597 Guided Research
  • HSPP BC1001-1002 Research Apprenticeship Seminar

In The News

Barnard’s bees offer a bit o’ honey for the College’s students, faculty, and staff.

December 22, 2023

From bird-watching to growing sprouts, this toolkit — sourced from campus community members — offers actionable advice for Earth Day.

April 21, 2023

After its successful debut last summer, the program returned for its second year, welcoming more educators and learning specialists from across New York City.

September 9, 2022

Today we sit down with Melissa Flores, Natalie Lovinger, and Nora McNamara-Bordewick, all Snow Lab alums, to discuss their publication from this past year and their experiences in the lab under the mentorship of Professor Jonathan Snow.

June 1, 2022