Our recent focus has been to study how rapidly changing environments, induced by anthropogenic activities and practices, pose threats to animal functional groups that play important roles in terrestrial ecosystems.
1. Impact of pesticide exposure on the molecular, physiological and behavioural responses of bumblebees, and the consequences for colony fitness and population dynamics.
2. Quantifying multi stressor effects on sublethal endpoints (behaviours) of bumblebees. Investigating pesticide, nutrition and temperature interactions.
3. Understanding how climatic variation determines taxonomic and functional trait distributions in Arctic bumblebee communities, and how this shapes plant-pollinator network responses.
4. Leveraging museum entomological collections to understand past, present and future phenological and morphological responses to environmental change.
5. Variation in the genomes and microbiomes of wild bee populations
6. Effects of land-use change on ant community competition & dynamics
7. Elucidating early pollination signatures using molecular and spectral analyses to identify biomarkers
8. Evolution of social strategies and the cooperation and conflict involved
Chemistry CDT and Syngenta to fund PhD student (~£90K; starting Oct 2022), awarded to Leon Barron, Bonnie Waring, Will Pearse, Guy Woodward, Richard Gill.
INTERACT Transnational Access ~£4,000 awarded to A. Cantwell-Jones & R. Gill to support ArcticBuzz Phase II project fieldwork (2022)
Royal Geographic Society expedition £3,000 to support Arctic research awarded to L. Hudson, S. Eggleston, A. Cantwell-Jones & R. Gill (2022)
Genetics Society fieldwork £1,500 to support bumblebee and plant DNA barcoding awarded to A. Cantwell-Jones & R. Gill (2022)
Queckett Microscopical Society research grant - £1,800 awarded to Aoife Cantwell-Jones & Richard Gill (2021)
CB Dennis Trust (~£90K) to fund PhD student Monika Yordanova, co-supervised by Peter Graystock, Sophie Evison & Richard Gill (2020)
British Ecological Society large grant £20,000 awarded to Peter Graystock in collaboration with Richard Gill
INTERACT Transnational Access ~£4,000 awarded to Richard Gill
National Geographic Research & Exploration Award of $47,592 in support of Cross Polli:Nation awarded to Poppy Lakeman-Fraser, with Richard Gill as a scientific collaborator / advisor
Sainsbury’s Farming Scholars Creativity Event - £30,000 awarded to the team Oliver Windram, Oscar Ces, Richard Gill, Paul French, Lily Peck, James Brown, Chris Dunsby and Sarah Blansford
NERC standard grant on bees response to a century of land use change. £381,457 FEC awarded to Richard Gill (in collaboration with Prof Ian Barnes, NHM London, with total grant ~£790,000 FEC) (2017-2020)
British Ecological Society large grant (£17,000) awarded to Andres Arce in collaboration with Richard Gill
Grantham Pump Priming grant (£25,000) - sustainable solutions for controlling pest species in small island ecosystems - awarded to Richard Gill
NERC standard (new investigator) grant on Behavioural and molecular responses to pesticide exposure in bumblebees. £503,980 FEC awarded to Richard Gill (in collaboration with Dr Yannick Wurm, QMUL, with total grant ~£1.1million FEC) (2014-2018)
Royal Society Research Grant (£14,051): Pesticide impairment to bee foraging behaviour (2014) awarded to Richard Gill.
As part of the Imperial Science Breaks series, below is a video we live-streamed in 2020 in which research by Bonnie Waring, Peter Graystock, and myself is showcased. If you are particularly interested in my work on insect pollinators, please forward to 18 mins into the video.
Research in collaboration with Dr Nigel Raine, Royal Holloway, University of London: The Buzz about pesticides - by Nature Video.
Masters & PhD opportunities
Funding: I welcome anyone that is interested in joining my research group that has, or knows of, a source of funding to contact me and discuss their research ideas/interests.
Imperial College is a world-leading university, the Times Higher Education World University Ranking 2013-2014 placed the Department of Life Sciences as 3rd best in Europe and 10th best in the World. My group is based at the Silwood Park campus which currently has a growing and internationally renowned community of researchers. The Grand Challenges in Ecosystems and the Environment (GCEE) initiative (which I am part of) has invested significantly into ensuring a world-leading group of scientists addressing important global issues.
Peter Graystock, Imperial College, Investigating the gut-brain axis under stress in bees, 2018
Keith Larson & Emily Baird, Umea University & Stockholm University, Effects of climate change on insect pollinators, 2018
University of Lund, Jacob Johansson, Modelling insect responses to seasonal variation in resources, 2017
Richard Bomphrey, Royal Veterinary College, Affects of stress on the flight mechanics of bees, 2017
Ian Barnes and Selina Brace, Natural History Museum London, Using ancient DNA techniques on museum specimens to understand insect pollinator population dynamics under land use change, 2017
Jeff Ollerton, University of Northampton, Trait variation in insect pollinators over a century of land use change, 2017
Elli Leadbeater, Vincent Jansen & Mark Brown, Royal Holloway University of London, Effects of urbanisation on insect pollinator ecology, 2015
Yannick Wurm, Queen Mary University of London, Insect pollinator population genomics and transcriptomics, 2014