Kit Prendergast

Kit Prendergast
Curtin University · School of Molecular and Life Sciences

PhD, BSc Arts and Science (First Class Honors)

About

46
Publications
19,817
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
436
Citations
Citations since 2016
44 Research Items
415 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022050100150
2016201720182019202020212022050100150
2016201720182019202020212022050100150
2016201720182019202020212022050100150
Introduction
Dr Kit Prendergast is a native bee ecologist and science communicator. Her PhD involved investigating the impact of honeybees on native bees and pollination networks , and the impact of urbanisation on native bees. Dr Kit's research ranges from pollination ecology, to native bee ecology and behaviour, citizen science, critiquing methods for surveying pollinators, undertaking biodiversity assessments. She is a renowned science communicator, performing under the persona of 'Bee Babette.'
Additional affiliations
March 2014 - present
University of Western Australia
Position
  • Tutor and Lab Demonstrator
Description
  • Animal Populations Ecological Processes Human and Primate Social Organisation

Publications

Publications (46)
Article
Full-text available
A new species Leioproctus zephyr (Hymenoptera: Colletidae) is described from both sexes. Leioproctus zephyr sp. nov. is remarkable in featuring a large longitudinal ridge on the clypeus. This diagnostic morphological feature present in both sexes, along with various other distinctive characters including the male genitalia, female hind-tibial spur,...
Article
Full-text available
Bipartite networks of flowering plants and their visitors (potential pollinators) are increasingly being used in studies of the structure and function of these ecological interactions. Whilst they hold much promise in understanding the ecology of plant–pollinator networks and how this may be altered by environmental perturbations, like land-use cha...
Article
Full-text available
Urbanisation modifies natural landscapes resulting in built-up space that is covered by buildings or hard surfaces and managed green spaces that often substitute native plant species with exotics. Some native bee species have been able to adapt to urban environments, foraging and reproducing in these highly modified areas. However, little is known...
Article
Full-text available
During the main COVID-19 global pandemic lockdown period of 2020 an impromptu set of pollination ecologists came together via social media and personal contacts to carry out standardised surveys of the flower visits and plants in gardens. The surveys involved 67 rural, suburban and urban gardens, of various sizes, ranging from 61.18° North in Norwa...
Article
Full-text available
Biodiversity is in crisis, and insects are no exception. To understand insect population and community trends globally, it is necessary to identify and synthesize diverse datasets representing different taxa, regions, and habitats. The relevant literature is, however, vast and challenging to aggregate. The Entomological Global Evidence Map (EntoGEM...
Article
Recently, native bee fauna has been observed utilising anthropogenic materials as nesting substrates. Here we report the novel observation of a native solitary cavity-nesting bee, Megachile (Hackeriapis) oblonga (Smith, 1879) (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae: Megachilinae) nesting in man-made, but honey bee drawn waxed frames. This represents a unique in...
Article
Full-text available
Loss of natural habitat through land‐use change threatens bees. Urbanisation is a major, increasing form, of habitat loss, and a novel, pervasive form of disturbance known to impact bee diversity and abundance in a variety of often inconsistent ways. We conducted a comprehensive, semi‐quantitative review, involving 215 studies, on responses of bees...
Preprint
Full-text available
Urbanisation modifies natural landscapes resulting in built-up space and managed green spaces that often substitute native plant species with exotics. Some native bee species have been able to adapt to urban environments, foraging and reproducing in these highly modified areas. However, little is known on how the foraging ecology of native bees is...
Article
Native bees are declining in many regions, often associated with loss of natural habitat. Urbanisation replaces natural vegetation with a highly-modified landscape, where residential gardens are a major component of urban greenspace. While many cities retain native vegetation remnants within the urban matrix, these are often small, isolated and deg...
Article
Full-text available
It is now clear that the routine embedding of experiments into conservation practice is essential for creating reasonably comprehensive evidence of the effectiveness of actions. However, an important barrier is the stage of identifying testable questions that are both useful but also realistic to carry out without a major research project. We ident...
Article
Full-text available
The field of bioaesthetics seeks to understand how modern humans may have first developed art appreciation and is informed by considering a broad range of fields including painting, sculpture, music and the built environment. In recent times there has been a diverse range of art and communication media representing bees, and such work is often link...
Article
Full-text available
Urbanisation is a prominent and increasing form of land-use change, with the potential to disrupt the interactions between pollinators such as bees and the flowering plants that they visit. This in turn may cause cascading local extinctions and have consequences for pollination services. Network approaches go beyond simple metrics of abundance and...
Article
The 2019–2020 Australian Black Summer wildfires demonstrated that single events can have widespread and catastrophic impacts on biodiversity, causing a sudden and marked reduction in population size for many species. In such circumstances, there is a need for conservation managers to respond rapidly to implement priority remedial management actions...
Article
The majority of angiosperms require animal pollination for reproduction and insects are the dominant group of animal pollinators. Bees are considered one of the most important and abundant insect pollinators. Research into bee behaviour and foraging decisions has typically centred on managed eusocial bee species, Apis mellifera and Bombus terrestri...
Article
Full-text available
The European honeybee Apis mellifera is a highly successful, abundant species and has been introduced into habitats across the globe. As a supergeneralist species, the European honeybee has the potential to disrupt pollination networks, especially in Australia, whose flora and fauna have co-evolved for millions of years. The role of honeybees in po...
Article
There is an increased interest in conducting studies on pollinators – especially wild bees – in Australia, as well as abroad. We welcome this increased research attention, however we are concerned by poor methods in the sampling techniques used, and the poor taxonomic treatment of specimens. We explicitly highlight these two issues, discuss the imp...
Book
'Creating a Haven for Native Bees' is a book by Dr Kit Prendergast, the Bee Babette. It provides evidence-based information about native bees, their life-cycles, how to create nesting substrates (bee hotels), and lists the best bee-friendly flora.
Article
European honey bees have been introduced across the globe and may compete with native bees for floral resources. Compounding effects of urbanization and introduced species on native bees are, however, unclear. Here, we investigated how honey bee abundance and foraging patterns related to those of native bee abundance and diversity in residential ga...
Article
Full-text available
Engaging school‐age children in activities involving ‘real‐world’ science and interacting with scientific researchers can promote an interest in appreciating and understanding the natural world and the scientific method. Here, we describe a project involving five female early‐career and PhD researchers who facilitated a citizen science project with...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report documents research on suburban street verge gardens in metropolitan Perth, Australia. In this report, we refer to street verges, or nature strips, are those areas of land that lie between the road reserve, and the front boundary of a residential property. Roadside vegetation on street verges can play a key role in providing greenspace a...
Article
The nesting habits of many Australian native bees are poorly known, with observations of nests being few and far in between. Here, I report three independent nesting aggregations of a native colletid bee Leioproctus (Leioproctus) plumosus, accompanied by videos of its nesting behaviour and photographs of its nesting substrate. These discoveries wer...
Article
Full-text available
Apples are a major crop globally, including in Tasmania (Australia)-known as 'the Apple Isle' owing to the key role of apples in Tasmania's history and economy. Most apple cultivars are obligate entomophilous species, and fruit quantity, quality and economic value are enhanced under insect pollination. Whilst the introduced European honey bee (Apis...
Article
Native bee research suffers from poor methods in the sampling techniques used, and the poor taxonomic treatment of specimens. The issues associated with poor sampling methods and taxonomic resolution are problems facing biodiversity and ecological research as a whole, but are particularly prevalent with native bee research. We explicitly highlight...
Article
Full-text available
Many bee species are declining globally, but to detect trends and monitor bee assemblages, robust sampling methods are required. Numerous sampling methods are used, but a critical review of their relative effectiveness is lacking. Moreover, evidence suggests the relative effectiveness of sampling methods depends on habitat, yet efficacy in urban ar...
Article
Globalisation has increased the occurrence of species being introduced outside of their natural range. The African carder bee, Pseudoanthidium (Immanthidium) repetitum (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae), is one such species. P. repetititum was first recorded in Australia in 2000 in Queensland (north-east Australia), and rapidly spread down the east coast...
Article
Full-text available
Plastic is pervasive across ecosystems, with polystyrene being a common plastic synthetic material used in buildings. Although polystyrene is used in hive construction for European honeybees and managed megachilids, cavity-nesting colletids have never been documented to nest in such materials. Here, observations of the solitary native bee Hylaeus (...
Book
"Abuzz About Dawson's Burrowing Bee : a travel log by the Bee Babette, about her quest to find Amegilla (Asarapoda) dawsoni" is a book filled with the musings, observations, and fascinating factoids of Kit Prendergast on her roadtrip to see the world's most wonderful and wicked of bees. In this 80+ page book you'll be amazed by the beauty of these...
Article
Full-text available
This article reports observations of nesting by Euryglossina (Euryglossina) perpusilla Cockerell, 1910 in preformed cavities in a Banksia attenuata tree in an urban bushland remnants.
Article
Full-text available
Bees require floral resources in the form of pollen and nectar for food but, in addition, many cavity-nesting species require other plant resources for nesting materials, which might come from plants on which they do not forage for food. This paper records the habitual use of dry flowers and indumentum from tomentose floral bracts of Banksia as nes...
Article
Full-text available
We report three new host-parasite relationships observed during an extensive trap-nest survey of native bees in Perth, Western Australia during 2016-2017. The brood of Megachile apicata Smith was parasitised by a native ectoparasitic bee fly, Anthrax incomptus Walker and the bee offspring that developed to adulthood from the same nest being host to...
Article
Full-text available
Behaviours of the Western Australian endemic bee, Meroglossa rubricata Smith 1879 (Colletidae: Hylaeinae) at bee blocks in the urbanised region of southwest Western Australia are documented. Observations of co-habitation between individuals are described, and antagonistic interactions between a female M. rubricata with a female megachilid at bee bl...
Article
Full-text available
Rhynchium superbum Saussure,1852 is an attractive potter wasp (family Vespidae, subfamily Eumenidae) native to the eastern states of Australia (Photo 1, Photo 3). In recent years observations of this wasp have been reported from Western Australia (Houston, 2016).
Article
Full-text available
The Flowerpot or Brahminy Blindsnake Indotyphlops braminus is the only recorded parthenogenetic snake. While originally from South-East Asia, it now has a broad distribution due to dispersal by humans. This dispersal has been aided by the species’ reproductive biology, since a single female can establish a new population, and by its frequent use of...
Article
Full-text available
Hylaeus (Hylaeorhiza) nubilosus (Smith) is a common, widespread, native bee endemic to the eastern States of Australia. It is recorded from several, mostly suburban, sites in the Perth region of southwestern Western Australia and appears to be well established. The species nests in abandoned mud wasp nests in synathropic situations and might have b...
Article
Domestic horses and ponies communicate using visual and auditory signals. It has been reported that equines can respond to visual cues in object-choice tests, but utilization of auditory cues, alone or associated with visual cues, has not be investigated. Effect of equine breed type in object-choice selection is unknown. Using object-choice tests,...
Article
Full-text available
Australia’s digging mammals represent allogenic ecosystem engineers and are keystone species. Their bioturbation activities create, destroy, maintain, or modify their abiotic environment, which feeds-back upon the biota and has profound effects influencing ecosystem health. The beneficial role of Australian digging mammals, many now threatened with...
Article
Full-text available
Despite once being described as common, digging mammal species have been lost from the Australian landscape over the last 200 years. Around half of digging mammal species are now extinct or under conservation threat, and the majority of extant species have undergone marked range contractions.Our aim is to identify the role of digging mammals in eco...

Questions

Question (1)
Question
Whilst a mesopredator is typically a less-specialized predator at lower trophic level than the top apex predator, and they tend to be smaller than top predators, and they tend to be medium-sized and smaller, Prugh et al. state a mesopredator should be defined regardless of its size or taxonomy. I was wondering if anyone knew of an example of a mesopredator that was smaller than the apex predator in the system?

Network

Cited By

Projects

Project (1)
Project
Studying native bee communities and how local and landscape factors (floral diversity, abundance and native status, habitat size, proportion of built space and green space in the surrounding urban matrix) affect the diversity, abundance and composition of native bee communities in urbanised southwest WA. I will also address the question of whether European honeybees (Apis mellifera) compete with and have an adverse effect on native bee communities.