Ed Straw

Ed Straw
Royal Holloway, University of London | RHUL · Department of Biological Sciences

PhD Candidate at Royal Holloway
See my ORCID for full publication list: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3205-9157


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I'm in my first year of a PhD at Royal Holloway studying the effects of pesticides and pathogens on Bumblebees. This is part of the POSHBEE project funded by the EU within which I'm working in Mark Brown's group. I'm interested in bee conservation, and research into the factors behind their decline. I'm keen to use laboratory research methods which model the complexities of the real world​. As such I'm studying the interaction between pesticides, which are widespread in nature and pesticides which are fairly ubiquitous​ in bee populations. They are known to act in synergy to the detriment of bee health, yet relatively little research has looked at them together. My PhD aims to shed more light on the interaction.


Publications (2)
Single page summary of Vanderplank et al (2021) - contains a QR code for accessing the paper
Full-text available
Current global change substantially threatens pollinators, which directly impacts the pollination services underpinning the stability, structure and functioning of ecosystems. Among these threats, many synergistic drivers such as habitat destruction and fragmentation, increasing use of agrochemicals, decreasing resource diversity as well as climate...


Cited By


Projects (2)
Archived project
This was my Master's project, working for Dr Heather Whitney at The University of Bristol, with Mike Harrap as my PhD student supervisor. I was using foraging arena choice experiments in bumblebees to test if temperature patterns on flowers could be functionally used as a backup for colour in foraging. Turns out they can, but more work needs to be done to properly establish this. Sadly I'll not be returning to the project, as I've moved on. But I wish the team in the Heather's bee lab all the best of luck, and I'll be following their publications closely.
Archived project
Silene uniflora exhibits heavy metal tolerance where it grows on disused mine site, and in surrounding polluted areas, principally in Wales. It is thought that there are multiple independent origins of this tolerance. I'm in the midst of a project designed learn if there is a difference in tolerance between coastal and inland populations. This is to accompany a genetic analysis looking at the origins of the tolerance.