Cynthia Surmacz, professor

Cynthia Surmacz, professor


Ph.D. Pennsylvania State University, College of Medicine, Physiology


Concepts in Biology 1 lecture, Anatomy and Physiology lectures and laboratories

Research Interests

Investigating physiological, behavioral and cellular stress responses

Honey bees (Apis mellifera) have experienced global declines, most pronounced in the USA and Europe, linked to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). While there is no single cause of CCD, leading suspects include pesticide use, pathogens, and nutritional stress. In particular, pesticides may cause sublethal stress in honey bees, with resulting impairments in memory, mobility, and foraging behavior that affect hive health. The intracellular chaperone heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) has been shown to be an excellent biomarker for sublethal stress in honeybees. During Research in Biology 1, biology majors Beverly Andre and Kyle Gainard investigated the sublethal responses of honeybees to various pesticides by measuring HSP70 levels pre and post-treatment. This laboratory research is part of a collaboration with Dr. Hranitz of Bloomsburg University and the Beekeeping and Development Center in Bursa, Turkey. Both Beverly and Kyle received research grants to support their work.


  • Pennsylvania Academy of Sciences. The Effects of Pesticides on Sublethal Stress in Honey Bees. Beverly Andre. Mentors: Cynthia Surmacz and John Hranitz
  • Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Biologists. Effects of Thiamethoxam on Cellular Stress in Honey Bees. Kyle Gainard. Mentors: Cynthia Surmacz and John Hranitz


at the annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Academy of Sciences, Delaware Valley University, April 2, 2016:

  • Andrew King, Rebecca Price and Cynthia Surmacz. Geodemography of Type 2 Diabetes in Pennsylvania.
  • Katie Greene, Iane Charles, Hayley Sparks, and Cynthia Surmacz. Is the Prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes related to Income in PA counties?

Campus and Community Service Activities:

  • Advisor, Tri-Beta Biology Honor Society
  • Secretary, The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi
  • Honors Program Advisory Committee
  • Health Sciences Symposium Committee
  • Instructor, The Great STEM Adventure Camp
  • Biology Workshop, Lycoming College, Nov 2016
  • Science Fair Judge, Bloomsburg Middle School, Pennsylvania Academy of Sciences
  • Commencement Speaker, Geisinger School of Radiologic Technology, June 2016
  • Praxis National Advisory Committee for Biology, Educational Testing Service