Imperial College London

Dr Richard J. Gill

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences (Silwood Park)

Senior Lecturer
 
 
 
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Contact

 

+44 (0)20 7594 2215r.gill Website

 
 
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Location

 

N2.13MunroSilwood Park

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Summary

 

Summary

Masters project opportunities (start date April 2019) - please directly contact me by email if interested

Plant-pollinator responses to climate change - studying Arctic bumblebees - fieldwork in Lapland, Northern Sweden


Research Interests

Please find my research group website on insect ecology & evolution here: www.gillinsectresearch.com

The scientific interests of my research group are on a broad scale, but our research generally involves the study of animal responses to induced stress to address ecologically applied issues, as well as taking an evolutionary biology approach to understanding trends in ecology. 

In particular we are interested in how anthropogenic influences, primarily land-use change and associated activities, affect animal populations and biodiversity. This has involved focusing on how specific factors, such as aspects of habitat loss or chemical applications associated with agricultural practices, can influence individual physiology, behaviours and fitness measures and how this can scale up to directly and selectively shape populations and communities.

Terrestrial invertebrates have been the group used to address our questions, and whilst not wedded to a particular study organism/system, social insects have been the focus of much of our research. Their large and intricate societies exhibit efficient and often complex cooperative behaviours making them not only interesting for the study of animal behaviour, but also a dominant insect group in the environment that provide vital ecosystem functions and crucial ecosystem services that are important for human welfare.

Here is a short video introducing one of the topics that we are interested in studying - threats to insect pollinators:

Research Focus - Dr Richard Gill

Please see my research page for further details.

 

News

In January we held our second steering committee meeting to discuss the progress of the NERC funded Bumblebee Sensitivity to Agricultural Land Use Change project

Lottie Gibbons, Ryan Richardson, Eva Linehan and Rachel have joined the group to conduct their Masters projects on the effect of climatic variation on plant-pollinator communities.  

Dylan Smith successfully passed the viva of his PhD looking at pesticide effects on brain development and behaviour - massive congrats Dr!

Danny Kenna won the runner-up prize for best PhD talk at the British Ecological Society 2018 meeting in Birmingham - Well Done Danny!

Emma Eatough & Xueni (Linka) Bian have joined the group to conduct their Masters projects on morphological evolution in bumblebees 


Recent publications

Kenna*, Cooley* et al. (in press) Pesticide exposure affects flight dynamics and reduces flight endurance in bumblebees. in Ecology & Evolution. Pre-print version can be found at: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/biorxiv/early/2018/10/22/449280.full.pdf  

Colgan*, Fletcher*, Arce* et al. (2019) Caste- and pesticide-specific effects of neonicotinoid pesticide exposure on gene expression in bumblebees’. in Molecular Ecology. doi:10.1111/mec.15047

Arce et al. (2018) Foraging bumblebees acquire a preference for neonicotinoid treated food with prolonged exposure. in: Proceedings of the Royal Society B

http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2018.0655

Samuelson, Gill, Brown & Leadbeater (2018) Lower bumblebee colony reproductive success in agricultural compared with urban environments. in: Proceedings of the Royal Society B

http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/royprsb/285/1881/20180807.full.pdf


Current Group (see 'research' page for more details)

Independent Fellow hosted by Gill lab: Dr Peter Graystock

Associated Fellow: Dr Jacob Johansson

NERC funded PDRA: Dr Andres Arce

BBSRC funded PhD student: Ana Ramos-Rodrigues (in 3rd year)

NERC funded DTP PhD student: Daniel Kenna (in 2nd year)

PhD co-supervisor for: Liz Samuelson (Sup. Dr Elli Leadbeater, RHUL), BBSRC

PhD co-supervisor for: Joe Palmer (Sup. Dr Vincent Jansen, RHUL), BBSRC

In collaboration: Dr Victoria Mullin (NHM London), Joe Colgan (QMUL & Trinity College Dublin)

Masters students: Emma Eatough, Xeuni Bian, Lottie Gibbons, Eva Linehan, Rach Dawson, Freja Gjerstad and Stephen Bishop


Previous Group Members

Grantham funded PDRA: Dr Kirsty Yule

NERC funded DTP PhD student: Dylan Smith (2014-2019)

BBSRC PhD student: Leonie Gough

Erasmus visiting Masters student: Illaria Pretelli

Masters project students: Jacob Birkenhead, Marcus Rhodes, Tara Cox, Libby Bates, Miranda Burke, Flo Coulmance--Gayrard (2018); Koorosh McCormack, Cecylia Watrobska, Nicholas Tew, Elspeth MacKeller, Jenny Dawson, John Paterson (2017), Ross Gray, Laura Bentley, Chun (Harris) Tso (2016); Jiajun (Stanley) Yu, Katie Taylor, Sarah Gougeon (2015), Emma Randall, Thomas David (2014)

3rd year project students: Daisy Burris, Megan Chan, Hazel Cooley (2017), Phillip Bischoff, Cecylia Watrobska (2016); Shona Crawford-Smith, Ross Gray, Henry Clifford (2015), Jessica Clarke, Abby Simms (2014)

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Colgan TJ, Fletcher IK, Arce AN, et al., 2019, Caste- and pesticide-specific effects of neonicotinoid pesticide exposure on gene expression in bumblebees., Mol Ecol

Arce AN, Rodrigues AR, 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:0962-8452

Samuelson AE, Gill RJ, Brown MJF, et al., 2018, Lower bumblebee colony reproductive success in agricultural compared with urban environments, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol:285, ISSN:0962-8452

Arce AN, David TI, Randall EL, et al., 2017, Impact of controlled neonicotinoid exposure on bumblebees in a realistic field setting, Journal of Applied Ecology, Vol:54, ISSN:0021-8901, Pages:1199-1208

Smith DB, Bernhardt G, Raine NE, et al., 2016, Exploring miniature insect brains using micro-CT scanning techniques., Sci Rep, Vol:6

Bryden J, Gill RJ, Mitton RAA, et al., 2013, Chronic sublethal stress causes bee colony failure, Ecology Letters, Vol:16, ISSN:1461-023X, Pages:1463-1469

Chapters

Gill RJ, Baldock KCR, Brown MJF, et al., 2016, Protecting an Ecosystem Service: Approaches to Understanding and Mitigating Threats to Wild Insect Pollinators, ECOSYSTEM SERVICES: FROM BIODIVERSITY TO SOCIETY, PT 2, Editor(s): Woodward, Bohan, ELSEVIER ACADEMIC PRESS INC, Pages:135-+, ISBN:978-0-08-100978-9

More Publications