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Emma Wright

 Where am I?

To start off with I should explain that whilst registered at the University of Warwick I spend very little time on main campus. When I am even in the right county I'm usually at Warwick HRI in Wellesbourne. Usually however I'm down near London at Rothamsted Research (an agricultural research institute) in Harpenden.

What do I do?

I am currently somewhere in the middle of my very excitingly titled PhD:

The effect of pathogens on honeybee learning and foraging behaviour

The aim of which is to do some strange and unusual behavioural experiments involving bees, combined with some fiddly molecular magic to hopefully find out how bee behaviour changes when they are infected with various beasties. (This means I usually have talks and posters with odd pictures of bees in tubes or with antennae on their backs!)

So far in my PhD I have been using the harmonic radar to follow as bees explore novel environments. And I've been conditioning the Proboscis Extension Reflex (the way bees stick their tongues out at the thought of food, as used by the 'Sniffer Bees') to see how well bees can learn and remember a simple odour cue.

What have I discovered so far? Sitting outside all day in a bee suit waiting for bees to come back can be very tiring! And bees will often stick their tongues out whenever they feel like it just to annoy and confuse me!

Next up I get to have a go at pipetting and PCR to see if there's a link between behavioural patterns observed and the level of various pathogens my bees were infected with!

Who do I work with?

I have 3 amazing supervisors with their own unique talents (click on the names to find out more):

Dr Judith Pell


Dr Juliet Osbourne


Dr Dave Chandler


Where does the money come from?

I am funded by BBSRC.

  photo: me

Contact me at:


Rothamsted Research


01582 763133
(ext 2460)

emma dot wright at bbsrc dot ac dot uk