Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences (Silwood Park)

Research Associate







N2.16MunroSilwood Park





I'm an evolutionary ecologist working on the effects of anthropogenic stressors on insect pollinators using bumblebees as model organisms. My research interests include how land use change has affected wild and managed insect pollinators in the UK, focussing in particular on agricultural intensification and the increasing use of pesticides.

My current research projects can be broken down into three main areas:

  • Studying the morphological evolution of British bumblebees using historical collections. 
  • Studying the effects of dietary pesticide exposure on the British subspecies of the Buff-tailed bumblebee (Bombus terrestris audax).
  • Classification of the microbiota of British bumblebees.

In a previous incarnation as a PhD student, I worked on the evolution of hygienic behaviours as a form of parental care in the burying beetle Nicrophorus vespilloides.



Smith D, Arce A, Ana RR, et al., 2020, Insecticide exposure during brood or early-adult development reduces brain growth and impairs adult learning in bumblebees, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol:287, ISSN:0962-8452

Smith DB, Arce AN, Rodrigues AR, et al., 2019, Developmental exposure to pesticide contaminated food impedes bumblebee brain growth predisposing adults to become poorer learners

Colgan TJ, Fletcher IK, Arce AA, et al., 2019, Caste- and pesticide-specific effects of neonicotinoid pesticide exposure on gene expression in bumblebees, Molecular Ecology, Vol:28, ISSN:0962-1083, Pages:1964-1974

Arce A, Ramos Rodrigues A, Yu J, et al., 2018, Foraging bumblebees acquire a preference for neonicotinoid treated food with prolonged exposure, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol:285, ISSN:1471-2954

Antwis RE, Griffiths SM, Harrison XA, et al., 2017, Fifty important research questions in microbial ecology, Fems Microbiology Ecology, Vol:93, ISSN:0168-6496

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