Project proposal details
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Field project: How floral traits influence bee foraging behaviour and community health
Project based at
Silwood Park (Imperial)
Foraging bees often seem choosy - a bee may frequently forage on one flower species but ignore a different species in the same area - what is driving these interactions?
This project is field-based and will involve going to UK field sites and observing pollinators foraging in the wild. The student will collect data on bee traits (size, sex, etc.) and floral traits (colour, corolla depth, concentration of nectar, etc). This data will then be used to construct both a taxon based and a trait-based plant-pollinator network allowing them to identify not only which bee and plant species are important or vulnerable in plant-pollinator communities, but also what traits are important. Furthermore, the student can explore if there are traits which bees or plants possess that can make them vulnerable to decline due to population mismatching.
This project theme may have more than one master’s student involved (individual hypotheses will be determined) and field site visits will be accompanied by a PhD student who is working on the role of flowers in bee disease transmission.
Having a UK driving licence and a car is required as field sites are often not near public transport. Being familiar with common UK plants and/or bees would be advantageous.
Project proposal limitations
The project proposer has indicated that there are some limitations to the availability of this project. It may only be available at certain times of year or suit a specific project length. It may also need skills taught to students on a particular course or courses.
Research project proposals are usually part of an active research programme. If supervisors have stated limitations to a proposal, then they are unlikely to have any flexibility. If you are very interested in the topic but have problems with the stated limitations, the supervisor may still be happy to talk to you about other options around the proposal, but you should not expect that any alternative arrangements can be made.
Project length limitations
3.5 months, 5 months
Available date limitations