Richard recently passed the viva for his PhD within the Bristol Centre for Complexity Sciences training programme. He started his doctoral work in October 2013, supervised by Sean Rands and Luca Giuggioli. His research looked into how animal groups, specifically nesting pollinators, may respond to a dynamically changing foraging environment, focussing on what behavioural strategy they may adopt based on what they might perceive as the more profitable locations through various methods.
It is reasonable to expect that animal group foraging behaviour has evolved to optimise their foraging success, taking into account the dynamically changing aspects of their physical and social environment. These behavioural responses may be unable to respond appropriately to factors such as global warming, pressures on land use and rapidly changing agricultural practices, which are threatening the survival of animal groups such as pollinating insects living within the landscape.
Richard completed his undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Biology at the University of Leeds in 2009, before going onto studying a Masters in Environment Biology at the University of St Andrews. He doctoral research was funded by EPSRC.
Pearce RF, Giuggioli L & Rands SA (2017). Bumblebees can discriminate between scent-marks deposited by conspecifics. Scientific Reports 7: 43872 | full text (open access) | pdf | New Scientist coverage
photo © Richard Pearce 2013