David Lawson

image © David Lawson 2013

Dave started his PhD in October 2013, supervised by Sean Rands and Heather Whitney, and has recently passed his viva. His research explored the link between scent and other cues in manipulating bumblebee behaviour.

After finishing his undergraduate degree in Animal Biology at the University of Gloucestershire in 2010, Dave undertook a six-month conservation internship in the Ecuadorian Amazon with the organisation Global Vision International where he primarily worked on surveying the biodiversity of the rainforest fauna. After his internship with GVI, Dave then worked as a Habitat Surveyor for the organisation Operation Wallacea in Mexico where he led surveys in carbon biomass and mammal diversity, as well as taking part in other surveys.

Dave is interested in all aspects of behavioural ecology with a particular enthusiasm for social insects and areas related to conservation. Having mainly worked in field conditions he is excited to get to work in a lab-based environment where the threat of venomous snakes is less prevalent*.
* (since we moved to the new building)


Harrap MJM, Lawson DA, Whitney HM & Rands SA (online early). Cross-modal transfer in visual and nonvisual cues in bumblebees. Journal of Comparative Physiology A | full text (open access)

Lawson DA, Chittka L, Whitney HM & Rands SA (2018). Bumblebees distinguish floral scent patterns, and can transfer these to corresponding visual patterns. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 258: 20180661 | full text (open access)

Lawson DA & Rands SA (2018). The evolution of floral nectar guides: using a genetic algorithm to investigate the evolution of optimal floral cue arrangements. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 123: 739-753 | full text (courtesy of Oxford University Press)

Lawson DA & Rands SA (online early). The effects of rainfall on plant-pollinator interactions. Arthropod-Plant Interactions | full text (open access)

Lawson DA, Whitney HM & Rands SA (2017). Colour as a backup for scent in the presence of olfactory noise: testing the efficacy backup hypothesis using bumblebees (Bombus terrestris). Royal Society Open Science 4: 170996 | full text (open access) | pdf

Lawson DA, Whitney HM & Rands SA (2017). Nectar discovery speeds and multimodal displays: assessing discovery times in bees with radiating and non-radiating guides. Evolutionary Ecology 31: 899-912 | full text (open access) | pdf


photo © David Lawson 2013
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