‘I’ve done fieldwork before, I know exactly what to expect’. As soon as I said the words out loud I knew they’d come back to haunt me.
Category Archives: Blog
This summer I was fortunate enough to be able to join the Sumner lab for a field season out in Trinidad. My role was as a research assistant as part of a four-person team working on two projects looking at species of tropical social wasps. This first was examining
“Why fly half way across the world to Trinidad when there are plenty of wasps drowning in my lemonade in Peckham?”
‘Why fly half way across the world to Trinidad when there are plenty of wasps drowning in my lemonade in Peckham?’ was a fairly reasonable question I was asked by a friend. Trinidad may not initially seem a prime location for conducting field work, yet it is one of the regions with the greatest diversity of social Hymenoptera species in the world;
I am an MSci student working on my dissertation project in the Sumner lab. My project looked at caste differences and aspects of the colony cycle in a species of Swarm-Founding wasp native to Trinidad; Metapolybia cingulata.
VIDEO Check out this time-lapse video from my 2014 field season of a busy potter wasp constructing a pot in the Arima Valley, Trinidad.
Many members of our lab group are pretty big on science communication, and needless to say I am no exception. I am a firm believer that science can, and should, be made accessible to people of all ages. With a bit of hard work we can get people to think differently about the world they inhabit and the organisms they share it with.
We are a pair of undergraduate students working on our dissertation project in the Sumner Lab. For our project we decided to study the effects that agrochemicals can have on two native UK ant species. Non-target organisms can often become victims of exposure to agricultural chemicals, with the most studied example being the common honeybee (Apis mellifera) . Very little published research is currently available on the effects of agrochemicals on other non-target species .
Welcome to the Sumner Lab Blog! I am a new PhD student in the lab and my project is focussing on using social network analysis to assess how certain pesticides might be affecting social interactions within bumblebee colonies and how that could impact colony performance. One of the early challenges facing me is learning how to establish my own bumblebee version of The Lord of the Flies.