David Lawson

image © David Lawson 2013

David started his PhD in October 2013, supervised by Sean Rands and Heather Whitney. Initially, he will be looking into the effects of temperature in the foraging behaviour of bumblebees, after which he will delve into other areas related to bumblebee pollination. As climate change makes the world’s weather patterns  increasingly unpredictable, it is important to have a better understanding of the effects that factors such as temperature have on relationships in the natural world. Their significance as pollinators and the fact that they are in decline in the wild make bumblebees a particularly important subject of study in this area.

After finishing his undergraduate degree in Animal Biology at the University of Gloucestershire in 2010, David 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, David 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.

David 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)


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


photo © David Lawson 2013