Mal Hagadorn


I am gay and I am a neuroethologist graduate student.//


I am a PhD candidate at Utah State University. I use solitary and social bees to investigate how sociality influences neuroplasticity (i.e., brain changes over a lifetime) and drives brain investment patterns. Using confocal microscopy I explore how experiences (foraging, social interactions, behaviors, etc.) and aging impact volumetric brain plasticity across species. I’m particularly interested in understanding the interplay between brood care behaviors and the brain in bumble bees. Recently, I’ve also gotten quite interested in studying the inner workings of male bee brains—the often-overlooked sex among insect sociobiologists. I’m excited about finishing up my dissertation and starting new adventures as a post-doc.

I grew up in Maryland and earned both my B.S. and M.S. in Biology at Salisbury University. While there, I studied the pasture ecology of dung beetles and their gut microbiome. During my free time, my wife and I like to hike, kayak, watch soccer, play pickleball and video games. We also love movie nights with our three adorable, spoiled rotten cats.