October 21, 2018

The buzzing of bumblebees in the garden is the sound of summer. Wild bees play a valuable and often underestimated role in pollinating both agricultural crops and wild flowers. Bumblebees for example, pollinate soft fruit crops like tomatoes and sweet peppers. But with...

This week I am very excited to have reached a big milestone in my scientific career: the publication of the first of my PhD research papers (Available open access at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ece3.3851)! The research published forms part of a larger project I undertoo...

A windswept headland that lies in the shadow of a nuclear reactor might not seem like the most obvious place to go searching for rare bumblebee species, but that’s exactly where the Brown lab headed on a lovely spring day early in May. To be more precise, we were headi...

May 2, 2017

Here we are, early spring in Oxfordshire. The sun is rising and a beautiful day is forecast. It’s time for field work. In the village of Wantage, we established our HQ in an Airbnb. In the garden, the hairy-footed flower bees, Anthophora plumipes, are already busy fora...

September 26, 2016

This August I had the pleasure of attending the European IUSSI meeting on social insects, hosted by Lotta Sundström and colleagues at the University of Helsinki. The three-day scientific programme was highly diverse, with topics ranging from the evolution of eusocialit...

July 17, 2016

I write this post on the penultimate day of our fortnight of fieldwork, though it’s only supposed to take ten days! As with all fieldwork in the UK we are at the mercy of the weather and so are constantly glued to a variety of weather forecasts, refreshing the pages pe...

June 27, 2016

The Rio Olympics are nearly upon us, but one of the biggest stories is not about sport, but about the dangers posed to athletes and spectators by an emerging disease. Zika virus hit the news in 2015 after it appeared in Brazil and was associated with microcephaly - red...

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Understanding the impact of agri-environment schemes on emerging infectious diseases in pollinators

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