Dr Arran Folly

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My main research focus is on bumblebee ecology and conservation. Bumblebees provide essential pollination services. There is increasing evidence to suggest that these charismatic insects are in sharp global decline. Two factors that have been identified as having an impact on bumblebee population dynamics are a rise in parasite prevalence and a reduction in wildflower meadows.

My research looks into the effect of plant biochemistry on bumblebee health including interactions with prevalent parasites that are linked to bumblebee declines. Plant secondary metabolites are synthesized to act as anti-herbivory compounds in plant tissues. These are translocated into floral rewards and have been shown to have negative fitness impacts for bumblebees. Whilst the presence of these compounds in floral rewards seems paradoxical there is evidence to suggest that some have antimicrobial properties and may improve bumblebee health.  My research includes work with the bumblebee Bombus terrestris and its well-studied parasites Crithidia bombi and Nosema bombi. 

 

Research funded by the BBSRC

 

Education

Sept 2015-current        PhD Biology- Royal Holloway, University of London

Sept 2014-Aug 2015     MSc Taxonomy and Biodiversity- Imperial College London

Sept 2011-Aug 2014     BSc Zoology - Royal Holloway, University of London

 

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