Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Where are they now?

After three years the Urban Pollinators Project finally came to a close in October 2014. Since its inception almost 40 researchers and staff members in four cities across the UK have been involved in designing and implementing this huge project.  Publications and other outputs from the project will be published in the coming months so watch this space for further information!

From start to finish the project has employed four principal investigators, a project manager/postdoctoral researcher, a GIS expert, five research technicians and 28 field assistants.  Staff have spent three wonderful summers walking hundreds of transects in Bristol, Reading, Leeds and Edinburgh, collecting thousands of plant and pollinator records in order to answer their three main research questions.   

Edinburgh Team 2011
Bristol Team 2011
Reading Team 2011

Leeds Team 2011

The BBC interviews Principal Investigator Jane Memmott about the project in 2011

Project 'get together' 2011

Project team and practitioner partners 2011

Kath Baldock has managed the project from the beginning
Damien, Lynne, Nadine and Mark the project research technicians from the four cities
Helen took over from Lynne at the end of the 2013 field season

Edinburgh Team 2012

Reading Team 2012
Bristol Team 2012
Leeds Team 2012

Laura and Ryan from the Bristol team 2013
Reading team 2013

Bristol team 2013

Edinburgh team 2013 sporting their new Urban Pollinators Project T-shirts

So now that the project has finished, what has happened to everyone who has contributed over the last three years?  Here's a little insight into some of the amazing things that our project staff have gone on to do after their time here.

Project Manager

Kath has recently been awarded a three year NERC Knowledge Exchange fellowship at the University of Bristol which she started in November 2014.  She will be working on knowledge exchange activities related to the research carried out during the Urban Pollinators Project.

Research Technicians

Mark is a Research Associate on the SUCCESS project (Sustainable Urban Carbon Capture:  Engineering Soils for Climate Change) at Newcastle University.  His role involves designing and implementing field experiments to investigate the botanical and invertebrate ecology of urban land designed to have a carbon capture function.

Nadine Mitschunas 

Nadine is working as a Field Ecologist at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology in Wallingford.  Her role includes plant surveying, data entry and processing samples in the lab.   

Damien Hicks 

Damien continues to work at the University of Edinburgh. He is currently researching meadow scale floral resources and DNA barcoding of pollinators.

Lynne Osgathorpe 

Lynne is currently working as the RSPB’s lead on ecosystem services. As Ecosystem Services Officer she is helping to turn the science and policy surrounding this complex subject area into delivery on the ground through the RSPB’s and their partners conservation work across the UK and abroad. Although now in an office job, Lynne is still a lover of pollinators and is frequently found chasing bumblebees around the gardens at the RSPB’s HQ, much to her colleagues amusement.

Helen Morse

Helen is still employed as a Research Technician on the Urban Pollinators Project at the University of Bristol until the end of November. After this she will be involved in an exciting new project called ‘Come Dine with Bee’ which will help gardeners and urban land managers to provide the best garden plants for pollinators based on pollen and nectar availability.

Field Assistants


Jasmine King, 2011                                    Secondary School Science Teacher

Olivia Norfolk, 2011                                    PhD student, University of Nottingham

Ben Jarrett, 2012                                        PhD student, University of Cambridge

Clare Grey, 2012                                        PhD student, Queen Mary’s, London

Laura Riggi, 2013                                       PhD student, Uppsala University, Sweden

Ryan Harris, 2013                                       Assistant Ecologist, Abbas Ecology, Dorset

Phil Cannard, 2013                                     University of the West of England


Peter Harris 2011,12,13                             Based near Oxford, researching age related diseases in nematode worms

Mark Otieno, 2011                                      Postdoctoral Research Associate, Penn State University, USA

Sam Cartwright, 2012                                 Knowledge Exchange Fellow at the University of Reading

Ellen Moss, 2013                                        PhD student, University of Hull

Richard Comont, 2013                               Data Monitoring Officer at the Bumblebee Conservation 



Kirsty Robertson, 2011,12,13                     Places for people, Leeds

Joe Hicks, 2011                                          PhD student, University of Leeds

Mel Stone, 2012                                         Field Assistant, Game and wildlife conservation trust

Victoria Williams, 2013                               Primary school teacher 

Liz Elliot, 2013                                            Education Officer, National Trust, Newcastle


Sally Donaldson, 2011                                Senior Ecologist at APEM, Penicuik

Juan Carlos Ruiz Guajardo, 2011               Postdoctoral Researcher, UC Davies, USA

Tom Godfrey 2011,                                     PhD student, University of Edinburgh

Desponia Roumpeka, 2012                        MSc Biochemistry, University of Edinburgh

Kasia Mikolajczak, 2012                             PhD student, University of Oxford

Maria Osterbauer, 2012                              MSc student, Austria

Pierre Ouvard, 2012,13                              PhD student, University of Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium

Frazer Sinclair, 2012, 13                             Postdoc, RSPB, Sierra Leone

Manon Majani, 2013                                   BSc student, University of Edinburgh

Vasanthakrishnan Radhakrishnan, 2013    Postdoctoral Researcher, France

Morgane Saynac, 2013                               BSc student, France


  1. Nice blog post; great to see what everyone who was involved in the project is doing now. And a nice reminder of the 3 years in the Urban Pollinators Project :-).

  2. Well done to you all :-)
    I really hope this site continues to be available as it offers a wealth of knowledge as well as fantastic photos!

  3. Sad to hear that the project has come to a close. I'll look forward to seeing the publications that become available.

  4. Great to see what everyone is now doing - this was a great project, I thoroughly enjoyed my time (summer 2012). As an update, I'm no longer with GWCT, but am, as they say, 'resting', so if anyone needs any plant or insect surveys, let me know! All the best to everyone :) Mel

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