A lack of suitable floral resources is a key cause of decline in wild pollinators and ill-health in honeybees. Gardens and amenity spaces can be important sources of flowers, but how do we know which plants are best? Natasha de Vere and her research team discover which plants pollinators use by identifying pollen on their bodies using DNA barcoding. Natasha will present some of their findings – she will look at how the diet of honeybees has changed over the last 60 years and describe the floral preferences of bees (bumblebees, solitary bees and honeybees) and hoverflies through the year. She will share her recommendations on what we can all do within our gardens, green spaces and communities to help pollinators.
Natasha de Vere is an Associate Professor and Curator of Botany at the Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen. She is a biodiversity scientist dedicated to the conservation of plants and pollinators. She uses a combination of genomic approaches, field research and museum collections to answer questions in plant ecology, plant-pollinator interactions and community composition. Public engagement with science is a key part of her work, especially using art-science to explore scientific ideas. She is passionate about the social role of Museums and Botanic Gardens and has led several, major, interdisciplinary projects, dedicated to increasing the health and well-being of people, biodiversity and the environment. She is proud to be a Member of Council and Vice-President of the Linnean Society.
Friday, May 20