Profile for Barrett Klein

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Barrett Klein

Pronouns: he/him/his
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

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Specialty area(s)

Animal behavior, entomology, social insect biology, sleep biology, scientific visualization, intersection of entomology and art, cultural entomology (how insects affect human culture)

Brief biography

The PUPATING LAB is where I study insect behavior, sleep biology, and explore the ways in which insects have affected humans throughout history. I studied entomology at Cornell University and the University of Arizona, received a Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Austin, fabricated natural history exhibits at the American Museum of Natural History, and joined UWL in 2012. For more about me, my scientific passions, or my art, please visit my homepage, or watch my TEDx talk.

Curriculum vitae

Current courses at UWL

Entomology (BIO 444/544, alternating fall semesters; next offered: Fall 2023)

Scientific Visualization (BIO 365, alternating fall semesters; next offered: Fall 2024)

Animal Behavior (BIO 446/546, spring semesters)

Ant Art, Fly Food, and Moth Music: How Insects affect our Lives (First Year Seminar)

Organismal Biology (BIO 203)

General Biology (BIO 105)

Senior Capstone (BIO 491)



University of Texas at Austin: Ecology, Evolution & Behavior (Ph.D., 2010)
University of Arizona: Entomology (M.S., 2003)
Cornell University: Entomology (B.S., 1993)


Teaching history

STEAM event (2014) - 10 Quintillion & Counting: The Art & Science of the Insect
Animal Biology

Professional history

Full Professor, UWL (since 2021)

Associate Professor, UWL (2016-2021)

Assistant Professor, UWL (2012-2016)

Innovative Lecturer, University of Konstanz, Germany (2011-2012)

Visiting scientist:
Neurobiology & Behavior, Cornell University (2011)
BEEgroup, University of Würzburg, Germany (2010)

Senior Preparator: Exhibition Department, American Museum of Natural History (1996-1999)

Model maker, illustrator, & curator of entomology: Chase Studio, Inc., Missouri (1995-1996)

Courtesy appointments:
Research Associate, Field Museum, Chicago (2013-2018)
Assistant Professor L/I (Locator Institution), Dept. of Entomology, UW-Madison (2013-2018)

Research and publishing

Welcome to the PUPATING LAB, where we investigate entomology, animal behavior, scientific visualization, and cultural entomology. Present projects include studying the functional importance of sleep in social insects and bats, how insects impact human culture, and the importance of visuals in science.


Google Scholar


Klein BA. 2022. A sleeping paradox may extend to the spider. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A. 119:e2211216119. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2211216119

Klein BA, Busby MK. 2020. Slumber in a cell: honeycomb used by honey bees for food, brood, heating… and sleeping.

Klein BA, Vogt M, Unrein K, Reineke DR. 2018. Followers of honeybee waggle dancers change their behaviour when dancers are sleep-restricted or perform imprecise dances. Animal Behaviour. 146:71-77.

Taylor RC, Page RA, Klein BA, Ryan MJ, Hunter KL. 2017. Perceived synchrony of frog multimodal signal components is influenced by content and order. Integrative and Comparative Biology. doi:10.1093/icb/icx027

Lendrum J, Seebach B, Klein B, Liu S. 2017. Sleep and the gut microbiome: antibiotic-induced depletion of the gut microbiota reduces nocturnal sleep in mice. bioRxiv. doi:10.1101/199075v1

Klein BA, Seeley TD. 2015. The declining use of animal and behaviour images in animal behaviour journals. Animal Behaviour. 103:171-177.

Klein BA, Stiegler M, Klein A, Tautz J. 2014. Mapping sleeping bees within their nest: spatial and temporal analysis of worker honey bee sleep. PLOS ONE. 9(7): e102316. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0102316

Klein BA, Stein J, Taylor RC. 2012. Robots in the service of animal behavior. Communicative & Integrative Biology. 5:467-473.

Wray MK, Klein BA, Seeley TD. 2011. Honey bees use the social information in waggle dances more fully when foraging errors are more costly. Behavioral Ecology. 23:125-131.

Klein BA, Seeley TD. 2011. Work or sleep? Honeybee foragers opportunistically nap during the day when forage is not available. Animal Behaviour. 82:77-83.

Taylor RC, Klein BA, Stein J, Ryan MJ. 2011. Multimodal signal variation in space and time: how important is matching a signal with its signaler? Journal of Experimental Biology. 214:815-820.

Taylor RC, Klein BA, Ryan MJ. 2011. Inter-signal interaction and uncertain information in anuran multimodal signals. Current Zoology. 57:153-161.

Klein BA, Klein A, Wray MK, Mueller UG, Seeley TD. 2010. Sleep deprivation impairs precision of waggle dance signaling in honey bees. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A. 107:22705-22709.

Klein BA, Olzsowy KM, Klein A, Saunders KM, Seeley TD. 2008. Caste-dependent sleep of worker honey bees. Journal of Experimental Biology. 211:3028-3040.

Wray MK, Klein BA, Mattila HR, Seeley TD. 2008. Honeybees do not reject dances for ‘implausible’ locations: reconsidering the evidence for cognitive maps in insects. Animal Behaviour. 76:261-269.

Taylor RC, Klein BA, Stein J, Ryan MJ. 2008. Faux frogs: Multimodal signalling and the value of robotics in the study of animal behaviour. Animal Behaviour. 76:1089-1097.

Klein BA, Bukowski TC, Avilés L. 2005. Male residency and mating patterns in a subsocial spider. Journal of Arachnology. 33:703-710.

Bernays EA, Klein BA. 2002. Quantifying the symbiont contribution to essential amino acids in aphids: the importance of tryptophan for Uroleucon ambrosiae. Physiological Entomology. 27:275-284.

Engel MS, Klein BA. 1997. Neocorynurella, a new genus of Augochlorine bees from South America (Hymenoptera: Halictidae). Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift. 44:155-163.

Online database
Klein BA, Klein A. 2016. Insects Incorporated: Database of Cultural Entomology.

Science & Art
Klein BA, Brosius TR. In press. A Planet in Peril and the Insect Muse. In: A Cultural History of Insects in the Modern Age. R Peterson, Ed. Bloomsbury Publ., London, UK.

Klein BA, Brosius TR. 2022. Insects in art during an age of environmental turmoil. Insects. 13:448. doi: 10.3390/insects13050448 

Klein BA. 2022. Wax, wings, and swarms: Insects and their products as art media. Annual Review of Entomology. doi:10.1146/annurev-ento-020821-060803

Klein BA. 2021. Exposing the murky depths part 2: Producing a scientific illustration. In the Drift (Society for Freshwater Science newsletter). Issue 40.

Klein BA. 2020. Exposing the murky depths part 1: The value of scientific illustration for freshwater science. In the Drift (Society for Freshwater Science newsletter). Issue 37.

Klein BA. 2017. The six-legged muse. Introduction to: Inspired by Insects: Bugs in Contemporary Art. EA Rooney, Ed. Schiffer, Publ., Inc., Atglen, PA, USA.

Klein BA. 2015. Encaustics: repurposing the architecture of insects. Introduction to The Buzz Stops Here: an exhibition of encaustic artwork about the science and conservation of bees. Art.Science.Gallery., Austin, TX, USA.

Klein BA. 2013. Standing on the shoulders of wee giants. Introduction to ECLOSION: a juried group exhibition of insect-inspired art. Art.Science.Gallery., Austin, TX, USA.

Klein BA. 2012. The curious connection between insects and dreams. Insects. 3:1-17.

Monto G, Klein BA. 2011. In conversation: Barrett Anthony Klein. Current Science. 100:16-18.

Abbott JC. 2011. Illustrated by Klein BA. Damselflies of Texas. University of Texas Press.          

Klein BA. 2007. Insects and Humans:  a relationship recorded in visual art. In: Encyclopedia of Human-Animal Relationships: A Global Exploration of Our Connections with Animals. Bekoff, M., ed. Greenwood Press, Westport, CT, USA. 1:92-99.

Klein BA. 2003. Par for the palette: Insects and arachnids as art media. In: Insects in Oral Literature and Traditions. Motte-Florac, E. and J.M.C. Thomas, eds. Peeters, Paris, France.



Barrett Klein, Biology, presented "Celebrating ants (at the intersection of science and art)" at Panel discussion at the Drawing Center (New York City) on Nov. 4 in New York, NY. A panel, consisting of artist Catherine Chalmers, journalist and author Oliver Milman, and entomologist Barrett Klein, spoke about the value of insects and the intersection of science and art at an exhibit of ant-themed art by Catherine Chalmers.

Submitted on: Nov. 7, 2022



Barrett Klein, Biology, authored the article "A sleeping paradox may extend to the spider" in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA published on Tuesday, Aug. 9 by PNAS. Do spiders exhibit rapid eye movement (REM) sleep? Daniela Rößler and colleagues just published an intriguing investigation, and Klein wrote a commentary about their work.

Submitted on: Aug. 9, 2022



Tierney Brosius, Augustana College and Barrett Klein, Biology, co-authored the article "Insects in Art during an Age of Environmental Turmoil" in Insects published on Tuesday, May 10 by MDPI. What role do humans play in damaging the living planet, and how are visual artists responding?

Submitted on: May 10, 2022



Barrett Klein, Biology, authored the article "Wax, Wings, and Swarms: Insects and Their Products as Art Media" in Annual Review of Entomology published on Wednesday, Jan. 12 by Annual Reviews. A review about insects and their products (silk, wax, honey, cochineal, shellac) used in art!

Submitted on: Jan. 12, 2022



Barrett Klein, Biology, performed "New York Public Library" on Wednesday, Jan. 12 in New York, NY. Peter Kuper, graphic novelist, has an insect-inspired exhibit at the New York Public Library. He asked me to participate in an audio guide, exploring insects and how they affect human culture.

Submitted on: Jan. 12, 2022



Barrett Klein, Biology, authored the article "Slumber in a cell: honeycomb used by honey bees for food, brood, heating… and sleeping" in PeerJ published on Aug. 5 by PeerJ. What do honey bees do when they are inside honeycomb cells? Spoiler: It includes sleeping.

Submitted on: Aug. 7, 2020



Barrett Klein, Biology, authored the article "Exposing the murky depths: The value of scientific illustration for freshwater science - a multi-part series (part 1) " in "In the Drift" (newsletter) published on June 17 by Society for Freshwater Science . Ross Vander Vorste (UWL Biology), as editor, invited me to submit an article about the value of scientific illustration.

Submitted on: June 19, 2020



Barrett Klein, Biology, presented "Sleeping on Six Legs" at Sleep across Taxa: Bats, Birds, Bees and Beyond! on June 6, 2019 in Tel Aviv University, Israel. Klein co-organized the international meeting about sleep in animals.

Submitted on: June 6, 2019



Barrett Klein, Biology, and Bradley Nichols, Art, presented "Hidden ubiquity: celebrating the tiny majority" at the North Campus Research Complex on Feb. 21, 2019 in University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. The exhibit runs Jan. 25-May 3 and celebrates the diversity of insects. Art pieces include collaborations with Bradley Nichols, Art and members of the Pupating Lab, Sienna Miller, Aidan Karlsson.

Submitted on: Feb. 21, 2019



Barrett Klein, Biology, and David Reineke, Mathematics & Statistics, co-authored the article "Followers of honey bee waggle dancers change their behaviour when dancers are sleep-restricted or perform imprecise dances" in "Animal Behaviour" published on Nov. 13, 2018 by Elsevier. UWL students worked with Barrett Klein and David Reineke to figure out how a honey bee might respond when following the dance of a sleep-restricted forager. Foragers can dance to communicate direction and distance to an advertised site, but when suffering from sleep loss, their dance is less precise and now we know that followers will switch dancers. Article here:

Submitted on: Nov. 14, 2018