Knowledge for a sustainable world

The role of species-combination pollination systems in crop production, crop stress responses and fruit/vegetable quality.

Katie’s undergraduate project involved investigating behavioural responses in hoverflies, and how they responded to various volatiles. During this time, she developed an interest in how the interactions of different pollinator species in both communities and populations directly affect the functionality of the ecosystem services they provide to agriculture. Additionally, she was excited by how this can be used as a management technique to address crop yield losses and nutrient deficiencies.  

By combining multiple pollinator species on model crops, this project aims to define what con/ heterospecific behaviours take place between pollinators on and near crop flowers. The project will then evaluate how the interactions (pollinator-pollinator and pollinator-plant) and resulting flower visitation rates can influence crop yield, quality, and nutritional composition.

Primary Supervisor: Sarah Arnold
Secondary Supervisor(s): Richard Colgan

Katie James joined the University of Greenwich in January 2020, coming from an educational background that also involved Pharmacy, as well as event and business management communications. During Katie’s previous studies at the University of Greenwich, she was awarded a BSc Environmental Science.

Throughout this degree the various courses in ecology, climate change and natural systems gave her a deeper understanding of the wider effect of climate change, and the interrelationships between the natural world and anthropogenic. During her degree and work experience with NRI and the British Ecological Society she cultivated a research focus towards entomology and its importance in food security and development.

Since January 2020 she has been undertaking a full-time PhD at NRI in her primary research area: species-level interactions and their effect on crop yield, quality, and nutritional composition.

  • Arnold S.E.J., Dudenhöffer J.H., Fountain M.T., James, K.L., Hall, D.R., Farman, D.I. & Stevenson P.C. (2021) Bumble bees show an induced preference for flowers when primed with caffeinated nectar and a target floral odour. Current Biology, In press.
  • President of the NRIPS (NRI-GRE)
  • British Ecological Society
  • Royal Entomological Society
  • Kent wildlife Trust
  • NDCS
  • Founder and President of the Natural Science Society (2016-2019).
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