Flowering plants and their pollinators have a complex mutualism that has evolved over the past 120+ million years. Bees are obligate mutualists with plants and play an important role in the pollination of thousands of plant species worldwide. The student involved in our research group will be involved in important research focused on the nutritional benefits pollinators obtain from collecting nectar and pollen from flowering plants including the potential role of compounds that act as drugs or toxins to bees. The project will involve a combination of lab-based and field-based techniques to study the chemical nature of nectar and pollen and how these are perceived and selected by eusocial and solitary bee species. The student would work with the group to design a research question in one or more of the following areas: pollinator nutrition, chemical nature of pollen and nectar, chemical perception of bees, and reward valuation, and learning and memory of bees. Research methods include behaviour, chemical analysis (LC-MS, GC-MS), field observations, and electrophysiology.
Qualifications & Experience
DPhil Zoology (Oxon), MSc Statistics, Ohio State University, BSc Botany, University of Wyoming
13 years experience at Newcastle University, 2+years experience at University of Oxford