Claire Wallace


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Key Research Interests

My PhD aims to assess how road verges impact bumblebees. Habitat loss and fragmentation is a major driver in the decline of bumblebee populations, and road verges are often proposed as a key habitat for bumblebees. They can provide bumblebees with food, nesting sites, and also improve the connectivity between ecological sites. It has also been suggested that surrounding farmland can benefit from increased pollination as a result of road verges.

There are 4 primary research questions I hope to address: (1) Does the distance from the edge of a busy road impact the overall development of a colony?, (2) What levels of vibration are bees nesting on verges likely to experience and how does this impact them?, (3) What metal pollutants are found in the forage rewards of flowers along verges and how do bees respond to these?, and (4) What is the capacity of road verges for bumblebee conservation in the UK?

The project is working in collaboration with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and Highways England. It is funded by NERC EnvEast DTP.


I graduated from the University of Stirling in June 2017 with a first class honours degree in Biology. My undergraduate dissertation was entitled 'Exposure to a field realistic dose of neonicotinoid pesticide alters the foraging behaviour of bumblebees in buzz-pollinated plant species'.

I graduated from the University of Sussex in January 2019 with a Master of Research in Conservation Biology at distinction level. My master’s thesis investigated the impacts of a rewilding project on pollinator abundance and diversity at a local scale.

Education/Academic qualification

Bachelor of Science, University of Stirling


Award Date: 28 Jun 2017

Master of Research, University of Sussex


Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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