USC bee researcher buzzing with new grant

Published: Comments:
Community Conservation Environment Gardens & Parks Science & Research University & TAFE

Social:   
USC student Rachele Wilson, of the Blackall Range, conducting fieldwork. (Photo: Tim Heard)

A USC PhD student investigating the foraging patterns of Australian native bees in forests and orchards has received a grant from the Friends of Maroochy Regional Bushland Botanic Gardens.

Rachele Wilson was awarded the organisation’s $1,500 USC Student Research Grant to assist the costs of her cutting-edge research, which uses an approach trialled in only a handful of laboratories around the world.

“I’m using a process known as pollen DNA meta-barcoding to identify the plant sources of pollen foraged by several bee species in natural and disturbed landscapes,” said Rachele, 29, of Balmoral Ridge on the Blackall Range.

“Meta-barcoding involves matching environmental DNA, from pollens in this case, to the DNA barcodes of plants or organisms.

“I’m aiming to find out what vegetation is required to support these bee species and the pollination services they provide across south-east Queensland.”

Ms Wilson, who graduated from Honours to her doctorate since completing a USC Bachelor of Science in 2013, said she hoped to capture some of Australia’s 1,600 solitary bee species that were rarely studied.

“I’m expecting to gain important insights into the biology of bees through this world-first study comparing the foraging behaviour of solitary and social bees, using the latest genetics techniques.”

She said she was delighted to receive the grant because one of the sites within her study was located at the Maroochy Botanic Gardens.

“Preliminary findings suggest the stingless bees at that site forage on four plant species in autumn, seven in winter and five in spring,” she said. “I’m expecting these numbers to rise when the results for summer come in.”

Ms Wilson’s PhD is supervised at USC by Professor of Agricultural Ecology Helen Wallace and Associate Professor of Vegetation and Plant Ecology Alison Shapcott.

 
University Of The Sunshine Coast : View Full Profile
90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
07 5430 1234
University Of The Sunshine Coast
Showing 10+ recent articles for this business
Samara uses Headstart to lead Bali library project 22 May 2017 | A high school student studying Indonesian at USC has used her language skills to help lead a $20,000 initiative to provide a rural village in Bali with a library. More information...
Students to shine at USC faculty awards event 19 May 2017 | USC will join with industry sponsors in recognising the best and brightest business, arts and law students at its annual awards and prizes ceremony tomorrow night (Friday 19 May). More information...
Snail researchers target parasitic disease 17 May 2017 | A five-member genetic research team from the University of the Sunshine Coast is part of an international collaboration that has identified the complete DNA set of a freshwater snail notorious for transmitting a... More information...
USC launches new Master of Teaching 17 May 2017 | USC will introduce a Master of Teaching (Secondary) in Semester 2 this year that will give aspiring teachers the opportunity to be qualified in time for the 2019 school year. More information...
USC medallist begins work as a paramedic 16 May 2017 | A decision to enrol with his wife in a university pathway course at USC has taken Brisbane’s Fraser Bliesner from part-time work and travel to a career as a paramedic. More information...
Business expert is USC’s new Deputy Chancellor 16 May 2017 | The University of the Sunshine Coast’s new Deputy Chancellor is award-winning small business operator and philanthropist Scott Williams AM, of Noosa. More information...
USC graduate returns home to teach in Nanango 15 May 2017 | Former Nanango State High School vice-captain Nathan Trace is back at his old school as a science and physical education teacher after recently graduating from USC. More information...
USC Law lecture to tackle costs of climate change 15 May 2017 | The far-reaching economic consequences of climate change will be debated at a free public seminar to be hosted by the USC Law School on Monday, 22 May from 5.30pm. More information...
Free USC health checks for Indigenous children 12 May 2017 | Up to 30 Nursing Science and Midwifery students and academics from USC will help lead a free day of health and wellbeing checks for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their families in Gympie... More information...
Aspiring orators to gather for Debating Expo at USC 12 May 2017 | Developing disarming discourse and creating robust rebuttals will be high on the agenda for those attending a Sunshine Coast Schools Debating Expo at USC on Thursday 18 May.  More information...



Social:   
comments powered by Disqus

All articles submitted by third parties or written by My Sunshine Coast come under our Disclaimer / Terms of Service