USC bee researcher buzzing with new grant

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

This is an archived copy of an article. It is online for informational purposes only.
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
Legal debate to decide first mooting champions 14 June 2018 | Students from Chancellor State College and Immanuel Lutheran College will go head to head in some rigorous legal debate on Monday 18 June at the first Sunshine Coast Schools Mooting Competition grand final. More information...
Education expert says robotics skills vital for kids 12 June 2018 | With a more automated future on the horizon, all students should start high school with robotics and coding experience, says USC Education academic Natalie McMaster. More information...
Sunshine Coast seniors take steps into online games 11 June 2018 | Sunshine Coast seniors are giving online games a go, all in the name of science. More information...
Coast needs considered expansion, says academic 08 June 2018 | As the Sunshine Coast expands to accommodate half a million residents by 2050, it needs to hold on to what makes it special, says the man teaching the next generation of urban planners. More information...
Thousands of Year 10s aim high at USC 07 June 2018 | More than 2,000 Year 10 students from 38 high schools are attending Experience USC events at the University of the Sunshine Coast’s main campus at Sippy Downs this week. More information...
Noosa land use is transforming 05 June 2018 | From producing coffee to alpacas, the way we use the Noosa hinterland is transforming, and a USC environmental planning expert wants to know more. More information...
Exhibition by USC adjunct to celebrate diversity 05 June 2018 | An exhibition by award-winning New York photographer Rick Guidotti that challenges preconceptions of beauty by exploring the many faces of genetic difference will open to the public at Sunshine Plaza on Thursday 7... More information...
Study checklist to boost gender equality in science 04 June 2018 | A global snapshot of more than 200 scientific societies has confirmed that female scientists still have a long way to go in their bid for gender equality. More information...
High school teams to contest mooting finals 03 June 2018 | Legal arguments are reaching a crescendo as teams of students from local high schools head into the finals of the first Sunshine Coast Schools Mooting Competition this week. More information...
USC scientist works to minimise fisheries bycatch 31 May 2018 | A University of the Sunshine Coast scientist has helped develop a program aimed at minimising fisheries bycatch and conserving endangered and vulnerable marine life. 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