My research is investigating the potential impact of environmental stressors (such as pesticides, pathogens, and habitat loss) have on the movement behaviour on bumble bees. Bumble bees are important pollinators for crop and wild plant species, and approximately one quarter of all species globally are at risk of extinction. The environmental stressors thought to contribute to their decline include habitat loss, pathogen spillover, pesticide use, introduced species and habitat loss. Movement behaviour can be a powerful way to assess habitat use and habitat quality, as well as the health of species – and for bumble bees this is no different. Previous research on bee movement behaviour has shown that pesticides can influence bumble bee flight. We are tracking bumble bee movement using a large array of radio towers to track radio-tagged bumble bee queens that have been exposed to different environmental stressors. This research can help better inform management practices that are less harmful to these important pollinators and give insights into important aspects of their behaviour and ecology which are currently not well understood.
My previous research looked at identifying the habitat and conservation needs for declining North American bumble bee species. This was done through a systematic literature search of habitat requirements, local and landscape surveys to describe the habitat for at-risk bumble bee species, using detection dogs to help locate hard-to-find bumble bee nests, and identifying conservation priority areas across Canada under future climate change.
For a full list of publications, refer to the Google scholar profile.