Nancy A. Moran's Lab

About Eli Powell

Eli Powell

Eli Powell

Research Associate
Integrative Biology
University of Texas at Austin
Phone: 512-232-9419

flying honeybees at hive entrance


I joined the Moran Lab in 2010 as a Research Associate after several years spent working in biotechnology. As a member of the Moran lab I have been helping to develop tools for studying the biological and functional complexity of microbes and their interactions with each other and their hosts in the guts of honey bees and bumble bees.

The approaches that I have been called upon to develop and use within this context are diverse and include live insect and culturing experiments as well as utilizing metagenomic, and genetic tools. I have been able to work with skilled and knowledgeable collaborators and have also been able to perform outreach from the lab by helping to mentor undergraduates and teaching local high school students about our work.


Huang Q, Lariviere PJ, Powell JE, Moran NA. 2023. Engineered gut symbiont inhibits microsporidian parasite and improves honey bee survival. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2023 Jun 20;120(25):e2220922120. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2220922120. [Online ahead of print] 

Powell JE, Lau P, Rangel J, Arnott R, De Jong T, Moran NA. 2023. The microbiome and gene expression of honey bee workers are affected by a diet containing pollen substitutes. PLoS One . 18(5):e0286070. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0286070 

Lariviere PJ, Leonard SP, Horak RD, Powell JE, Barrick JE. 2022 Honey bee functional genomics using symbiont-mediated RNAi. Nat Protoc. 2022 Dec 2. doi: 10.1038/s41596-022-00778-4. [Online ahead of print]

Motta EVS, Powell JE, Leonard SP, Moran NA. 2022. Prospects for probiotics in social bees. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 377(1853): 20210156. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2021.0156.

Li Y, Leonard SP, Powell JE, Moran NA. 2022. Species divergence in gut-restricted bacteria of social bees. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A . 2022 May 3;119(18):e2115013119. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2115013119. [Epub ahead of print]

Motta EVS, Powell JE, Moran NA. 2022. Glyphosate induces immune dysregulation in honey bee. Anim Microbiome 4(1):16. doi: 10.1186/s42523-022-00165-0

Powell JE, Carver Z, Leonard SP, Moran NA. 2021. Field-realistic tylosin exposure impacts honey bee microbiota and pathogen susceptibility, which is ameliorated by native gut probiotics. Microbiol Spectr. 9(1):e0010321. doi: 10.1128/Spectrum.00103-21.

Motta EVS, Mak M, De Jong TK, Powell JE, O'Donnell A, Suhr KJ, Riddington IM, Moran NA. 2020. Oral and topical exposure to glyphosate in herbicide formulation impact the gut microbiota and survival rates of honey bees. Appl Environ Microbiol. 86(18):e01150-20. doi: 10.1128/AEM.01150-20.

Leonard SP, Powell JE, Perutka J, Geng P, Heckmann LC, Horak RD, Davies BW, Ellington AD, Barrick JE, Moran NA. 2020. Engineered symbionts activate honey bee immunity and limit pathogens. Science 367: 573-576. doi: 10.1126/science.aax9039

Zheng H, Perreau J, Powell JE, Han B, Zhang Z, Kwong WK, Tringe SG, Moran NA. 2019. Division of labor in honey bee gut microbiota for plant polysaccharide digestion. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 116: 25909-25916. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1916224116

Powell JE, Eiri D, Moran NA, Rangel J. 2018. Modulation of the honey bee queen microbiota: Effects of early social contact. PLoS One. 13(7) :e0200527. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0200527

Leonard SP, Perutka J, Powell JE, Geng P, Richhart DD, Byrom M, Kar S, Davies BW, Ellington AD, Moran NA, Barrick JE. 2018. Genetic engineering of bee gut microbiome bacteria with a toolkit for modular assembly of broad-host-range plasmids. ACS Synth Biol. 7: 1279-1290. doi: 10.1021/acssynbio.7b00399.

Powell JE, Leonard SP, Kwong WK, Engel P, Moran NA. 2016. Genome-wide screen identifies host colonization determinants in a bacterial gut symbiont. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A.113:13887-13892. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1610856113

Elijah Powell J, Ratnayeke N, Moran NA. 2016. Strain diversity and host specificity in a specialized gut symbiont of honey bees and bumble bees. Mol Ecol. 25: 4461-71. doi: 10.1111/mec.13787

Engel P, Kwong WK, McFrederick Q, Anderson KE, Barribeau SM, Chandler JA, Cornman RS, Dainat J, de Miranda JR, Doublet V, Emery O, Evans JD, Farinelli L, Flenniken ML, Granberg F, Grasis JA, Gauthier L, Hayer J, Koch H, Kocher S, Martinson VG, Moran N, Munoz-Torres M, Newton I, Paxton RJ, Powell E, Sadd BM, Schmid-Hempel P, Schmid-Hempel R, Song SJ, Schwarz RS, vanEngelsdorp D, Dainat B. 2016. The bee microbiome: impact on bee health and model for evolution and ecology of host-microbe interactions. mBio 7(2):e02164-15. doi:10.1128/mBio.02164-15.

Li J, Powell JE, Guo J, Evans JD, Wu J, Williams P, Lin Q, Moran NA, Zhang Z. 2015. Two gut community enterotypes recur in diverse bumblebee species. Curr Biol. 25: R652-3. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2015.06.031.

Powell JE, Martinson VG, Urban-Mead K, Moran NA. 2014. Routes of acquisition of the gut microbiota of Apis mellifera. Appl Environ Microbiol. 80: 7378-7387. doi: 10.1128/AEM.01861-14.

Cariveau DP, Elijah Powell J, Koch H, Winfree R, Moran NA. 2014. Variation in gut microbial communities and its association with pathogen infection in wild bumble bees (Bombus). ISME J. 8(12):2369-2379.

Tian B, Fadhil NH, Powell JE, Kwong WK, Moran NA. 2012. Long-term exposure to antibiotics has caused accumulation of resistance determinants in the gut microbiota of honeybees. mBio 3(6):e00377-12.

Moran NA, Hansen AK, Powell JE, Sabree ZL. 2012. Distinctive Gut Microbiota of Honey Bees Assessed Using Deep Sampling from Individual Worker Bees. PLoS ONE 7(4): e36393. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0036393