My research

I am interested in integrative and comparative biology, genotype-phenotype interactions and the molecular mechanisms underlying organismal tolerance to environmental stressors.

Current postdoc research

I am currently a postdoc in the Honey Bee Research & Extension Laboratory at University of Florida. My project uses mitochondrial genomes to identify molecular markers that can be used to differentiate between the Apis species.

As part of this project, we are also exploring the mitochondrial genomes of Apis mellifera subspecies.

Relevant publications (links available under Publications):

  • Mitogenome announcements
    • Malagasy honey bee: Apis mellifera unicolor 
    • Carniolan honey bee: Apis mellifera carnica 
    • A newly described Ethiopian honey bee: Apis mellifera unicolor
    • West African honey bee: Apis mellifera adansonii
    • Spanish honey bee (from Portugal): Apis mellifera iberiensis
    • Arabian honey bee: Apis mellifera jemenitica
    • Maltese honey bee: Apis mellifera ruttneri

Our brand new Bee Building!

Postdoc #2: Radiation stress responses 

From September 2015 to March 2018, I was a postdoc in the Hahn lab at the University of Florida. Here, I was involved with two projects:

1. Finding a biomarker for successful phytosanitary irradiation
2. Developing the Sterile Insect Technique program for Aedes aegypti      

Publications are in the pipeline! 

  • Chen et al. (being revised as you read this!) 

Go Gators!
Postdoc #1 research: Oxygen limitation and thermal tolerance in insects

I completed a National Research Foundation Department of Science and Technology Postdoctoral Innovation Fellowship (2014/2015) at Stellenbosch University hosted by Prof. John Terblanche. Check out the Applied Physiological Ecology page for more info on John's lab.

The various projects used an integrative approach combining thermal physiology, biochemistry and genetics in order to investigate mechanisms of thermal tolerance and oxygen limitation in insects. Results will be written up for publication over the next few months.

Relevant publications (links available under Publications): 
  • Boardman and Terblanche, 2015, Journal of Experimental Biology
  • Verberk et al., 2016, Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry A
  • Boardman et al., 2016, Metabolomics
  • Boardman et al., 2018, Journal of Insect Physiology 

PhD research

I completed my PhD at Stellenbosch University supervised by Prof. John Terblanche and Dr Jesper Sørensen (Aarhus University, Denmark). 


Insect tolerance to low temperature treatments for post-harvest sterilization depends on basal cold tolerance, the ability to withstand or repair the stress associated with long-term low temperature exposure, or the ability to rapidly develop biochemical protection. This protection can be elicited through changes in whole animal physiology (e.g. respiratory gas exchange, water balance) as well as biochemical changes (e.g. upregulation of proteins). Insects commonly use heat-shock proteins, cryoprotectants (sugars), and membrane regulation to buffer stressful changes. This research focused on examining the different levels of responses after exposure to temperature and/or gas stress in larvae of false codling moth, a major agricultural pest in southern Africa.

Relevant publications (links available under Publications): 
  • Boardman et al., 2011, Frontiers in Physiology
  • Boardman et al., 2012, Insect Science
  • Boardman et al., 2013, Journal of Insect Physiology
  • Boardman et al., 2015, Journal of Insect Physiology
  • Boardman et al., 2016, Scientific Reports
  • Boardman et al., 2017, Postharvest Biology and Technology
False codling moth larva making an escape!