Imperial College London

Dr Richard J. Gill

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences (Silwood Park)

Senior Lecturer



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




N2.13MunroSilwood Park





PhD opportunity  - How do trait responses to climate change shape Arctic plant-pollinator networks? Follow this link for information and how to apply. Deadline: 6th Jan 2023 

PhD opportunity  - Do pesticide-exposed honey bees feel the heat? Follow this link to for information and how to apply. Deadline 10th Jan 2023

Click here to see my personal research website 

Our recent focus has been to study how rapidly changing environments, induced by anthropogenic activities and practices, pose threats to insect 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 in plants using molecular and spectral analyses to identify biomarkers

8. Evolution of social strategies and the cooperation and conflict involved



NERC/Grantham capacity building grant (£50K) titled 'Envirobotics' awarded to Savolainen, Gill, Woodward and others for proof of concept projects (2022) 

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 ~£4K awarded to A. Cantwell-Jones & R. Gill to support ArcticBuzz Phase II project fieldwork (2022)

Royal Geographic Society expedition £3K to support Arctic research awarded to L. Hudson, S. Eggleston, A. Cantwell-Jones & R. Gill (2022)

Genetics Society fieldwork £1.5K to support bumblebee and plant DNA barcoding awarded to A. Cantwell-Jones & R. Gill (2022)

Queckett Microscopical Society research grant - £1.8K 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 £20K awarded to Peter Graystock in collaboration with Richard Gill

INTERACT Transnational Access ~£4K awarded to Richard Gill

National Geographic Research & Exploration Award of $47.5K 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 - £30K 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 £790K FEC) (2017-2020)

British Ecological Society large grant (£17K) awarded to Andres Arce in collaboration with Richard Gill

Grantham Pump Priming grant (£25K) - 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. £504K FEC awarded to Richard Gill (in collaboration with Dr Yannick Wurm, QMUL, with total grant ~£1.1million FEC) (2014-2018)

Royal Society Research Grant (£14K): 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.




show research

Google Scholar Page

Research in collaboration with Dr Nigel Raine, Royal Holloway, University of London: The Buzz about pesticides - by Nature Video.


show research

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

Research Staff