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Chelsey Coombs

Chelsey Coombs

Writer, producer | The Weather Channel | Class of 2014

She didn't wind up in the bee business. Still, when Chelsey Coombs ('14) thinks back on the most memorable professors and places during her campus experience, the professional journalist goes back to her original major.

“Before journalism, I was a molecular and cellular biology major at U of I. I worked in Dr. Gene Robinson’s lab for three years, studying aggression and the neuroscience of honey bees.

"When I think of my time at the U of I, I think of the Bee Research Facility — which we called the Bee Lab — a little-known campus site that’s even further out than the far-away Vet Med.

“The summer days I spent there were hot, and because the hives were outside, we were, too. But despite that, there was something beautiful about being out in nature, with blue skies and green fields of prairie grass surrounding us. The Bee Lab was always — pardon my terrible pun — buzzing with people running various experiments, and we all joined in to help when a colleague needed it. 

“I know it sounds crazy, but I miss the distinct smell of bees and honey and pollen that emanated throughout the building. I’ll never forget working at the Bee Lab and the great times I had working on my thesis and getting to know all the Robinson Lab members.”