Dr. Julia
Julia with bug net

Pollinator Biologist


Julia (she/her) grew up along the shores of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin and has many fond memories of time spent on and near the water. As a homeschooler, she spent hours outdoors learning in nature, looking for crayfish under rocks, and helping her family make maple syrup and keep bees. During high school and college summers, she worked as a naturalist, maintaining exhibits and leading interpretive classes and bug hikes.

Julia has a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, where she learned the value of good questions and discussion-based learning, and a Ph.D. in Conservation Biology from the University of Minnesota, where she studied the impacts of fire and grazing management on pollinators in Minnesota and Northern Australia. She has worked with native bees and butterflies in Minnesota on and off for over ten years, studying stem-nesting behaviors, restoration methods, and impacts of systemic insecticides and land management. Most recently, she worked as a researcher and lab manager in the Entomology Department at the University of Minnesota, studying cold tolerance in invasive forest insects.

FMR Role

Julia manages FMR’s long-term pollinator monitoring work and will lead new pollinator research funded by the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund. She also manages several restoration and community science projects alongside FMR ecologists. Julia thinks a lot about the relationship between people and nature and our responsibility to the land. She is interested in using data and working with partners and volunteers to improve restoration outcomes, share knowledge and a love of nature, and promote native plant and pollinator diversity.

Personal Details

Julia lives in St. Paul with her husband and toddler. Outside work, she enjoys camping, experimenting in the kitchen, a good book, picnics, playing music and board games, and being outdoors as much as possible — on land or water.


jleone@fmr.org, 651.222.2193