Research

“The Contributions and Conservation of Insect Pollinators in Ireland”

Research Background

I graduated from Wheaton College (Massachusetts, USA) with a B.A. in Environmental Science, Biology concentration in 2015.

From 2014-2017, I traveled around the United States to work with native insect pollinators as a research assistant and community outreach facilitator on five different conservation-focused research projects. In 2016, while working at Archbold Biological Station in Florida, USA, I conducted an independent study entitled, “The multi-scaled habitat preferences of the Blue Calamintha Bee.”

I am currently working on my PhD research in the School of Agriculture & Food Science at University College Dublin in Ireland, studying the contributions and conservation of Ireland’s insect pollinators. I am funded by the Irish Research Council, in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency Ireland, and the Eva Crane Trust.

Research Interests

Contributions of insect pollinators to the pollination of native plants and crops

Interactions between managed and wild pollinators

Wild, native pollinator conservation

Current Projects

Crop Pollination

Assessing the contributions of wild and managed insect pollinators (i.e. honeybees, bumblebees, solitary bees, and hoverflies) to apple and bean pollination, as well as assigning an economic value to these contributions

Public Perceptions

Investigating the public perceptions of pollinators, pollinator importance, and pollinator conservation in order to identify knowledge gaps and potential target audiences to improve public engagement initiatives for the future

Wild & Managed Bees

Exploring possible interactions, and potential competition for food resources, between wild bumblebees and managed honeybees on heather in protected semi-natural areas

Publications

Burns, K.L.W, Fitzpatrick, U., & Stanley, D.A. (2021) Public perceptions of Ireland’s pollinators: A case for more inclusive pollinator conservation initiatives. Journal for Nature Conservation, 61. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnc.2021.125999

Burns, K. L., Deyrup, M. A., & Menges, E. S. (2019). The Blue Calamintha Bee: Habitat preferences of a narrow endemic. Florida Scientist, 82(2-3), 73-81.

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