Jake has a background in agriculture and studied BSc Biological Sciences at Durham University from 2012 to 2016. During his undergraduate degree he took a placement year at the National Botanic Garden of Wales where he studied honeybee foraging using DNA barcoding. After finishing his undergraduate degree, he became a field trials technician at NIAB in the ACC team, where he completed his crop inspector training. Jake is now a PhD student on the BBSRC Doctoral Training Programme.
Jake is interested in how agriculture and conservation can work together to make food production more efficient without negatively impacting the environment. He is especially interested in pollination and the effects of agricultural intensification on pollinators. Ensuring an adequate supply of pollinators is essential to maintain global food security. However, pollinator populations have declined in many parts of the world, and it is likely that climate change will further uncouple relationships between plants and insects.
The PhD project Jake is working on seeks to expand knowledge of the interaction between bumble bees and broad beans. Jake’s research is exploring strategies to optimise field bean flowers to provide maximum energetic reward to pollinators for minimum foraging energy expenditure. In the future, this could have the dual benefit of increasing pollinator attraction to crops, thus increasing yield, while also supporting wild pollinator populations, thus increasing future pollinator population sizes (and thus future yield). The project is a collaboration between the University of Cambridge Department of Plant Sciences, NIAB and PGRO.
Exploring strategies to enhance pollination and yield in broad beans (Vicia faba L.)
Duration: October 2018-2022
Partners: NIAB, University of Cambridge, PGRO
De Vere, N., Jones, L.E., Gilmore, T., Moscrop, J., Lowe, A., Smith, D., Hegarty, M.J., et al. (2017). Using DNA metabarcoding to investigate honey bee foraging reveals limited flower use despite high floral availability. Scientific Reports 7:1–10