We’re engaged in ongoing research looking at the interactions between plants and pollinators (and additional levels above these – plants interact with other plants via pollinators, whilst individual pollinators interact with other pollinators of their own and other species).
Much of this recent work is in collaboration with Heather Whitney (University of Bristol), exploring how floral characteristics influence and manipulate the behaviour of visiting pollinators. In addition, we are exploring how the structure of the landscape can affect the way in which pollinators are able to interact with plants.
Harrap MJM, Rands SA, Hempel de Ibarra N & Whitney HM (2017). The diversity of floral temperature patterns, and their use by pollinators. eLife 6: e31262 | full text (open access) | dryad dataset | accompanying insight article by Bing & Kessler
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
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, 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
Rands SA, Glover BJ & Whitney HM (2011). Floral epidermal structure and flower orientation: getting to grips with awkward flowers. Arthropod-Plant Interactions 5: 279-285 | abstract | pdf (postprint version)
Rands SA & Whitney HM (2010). Effects of pollinator density-dependent preferences on field margin pollination in the midst of agricultural monocultures: a modelling approach. Ecological Modelling 221: 1310-1316 | abstract | pdf (postprint version)
Whitney HM, Milne G, Rands SA, Vignolini S, Martin C & Glover BJ (2013). The influence of pigmentation patterning on bumblebee foraging from flowers of Antirrhinum majus. Naturwissenschaften 100: 249-256 | abstract
Whitney HM, Reed A, Rands SA, Chittka L & Glover BJ (2016). Flower iridescence increases object detection in the insect visual system without compromising object identity. Current Biology 26: 802-808 | full text (open access) | pdf