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Coordinator: Sara Diana Leonhardt - Technical University of Munich, Germany

Plant-Insect-Interactions Group, Department of Ecology and Ecosystem Management, Technical University of Munich, TUM School of Life Sciences

Plant-Insect-Interactions Group, Department of Ecology and Ecosystem Management, Technical University of Munich, TUM School of Life Sciences

Group members:

Sara Diana Leonhardt - PI (photo),

Maria Alejandra ParreñoFabian A. Ruedenauer

Group description:

Sara Leonhardt is the chair of the Plant-Insect Interactions group at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the coordinator of NutriB2. Alejandra Parreno is postdoc in NutriB2 and coordinates the research also from TUM. The team at TUM studies the ecology and chemistry of plant-insect interactions in both temperate and tropical regions, with particular focus on bees. In NutriB2, they determine nutritional niches of wild bees and investigate how differences in floral biodiversity affect these nutritional niches and the nutritional composition of pollen sources collected by bees. They combine ecological methods (field studies, biostatistics) with modern analytical chemistry (GCMS, HPLC).

Group websiteGerman flag and the logo of the Technical University of Munich, Germany.

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Partner 2: Alexander Keller - University of Würzburg, Germany

Molecular Biodiversity Group, Center for Computational and Theoretical Biology, Biocenter, University of Würzburg

Molecular Biodiversity Group, Center for Computational and Theoretical Biology, Biocenter, University of Würzburg

Group members:

Alexander Keller - PI (photo),

Birte PetersPaul Gaube

Group description:

Our research projects focus on a combination of field ecology with bioinformatics and new sequencing technologies. Conceptually, we are interested in patterns and structuring forces of communities, where organisms are not easily identifiable or distinguishable from each other. This interest applies to various levels, starting with abundance and diversity of taxa, over phylogenetic reconstructions, towards environmental and spatial influences and lastly regarding organisms' molecular interactions with each other on a genomic level. Methodologically, the workgroup is developing computational workflows and databases as well as laboratory protocols to analyse ecological samples with next-generation sequencing technologies. Biologically, the focus of current projects is the dynamics of bacteria-host associations in changing environments.

Group websiteGerman flag and the logo of the University of Würzburg, Germany.

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Partner 3: Alexandra Maria Klein - University of Freiburg, Germany

Chair of Nature Conservation and Landscape Ecology, University of Freiburg

Chair of Nature Conservation and Landscape Ecology, University of Freiburg

Group members:

Alexandra Maria Klein - PI (photo),

Dimitry Wintermantel

Group description:

Alexandra-Maria Klein is leading the chair for Nature Conservation and Landscape Ecology at the University of Freiburg in Germany. Her main research focuses on the consequences of species loss to  ecosystem functions with a main emphasis on pollinators in agricultural landscapes. In NutriB2 she is responsible for the stakeholder integration and transfer of results to seed companies, land managers, beekeepers and other stakeholder groups. Her group is complemented by Dimitry Wintermantel, a postdoctoral researcher in her lab, working on stressors of bees in the semi-field and field including nutrient stress. He will span the link between Poshbee and NutriB2.

Group websiteGerman flag and the logo of the University of Freiburg, Germany.

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Partner 4: Cedric Alaux - French National Institute for Agricultural Research, Avignon, France

Bees and Environment, Bee biology and protection, INRA, Avignon

Bees and Environment, Bee biology and protection, INRA, Avignon

Group members:

Cedric Alaux - PI (photo),

Clémentine LeroyJean-Luc BrunetMickaël Henry

Group description:

The research team Bees and Environment develops a wide range of research programs that are targeted to the study of honey bee and wild bee populations, in the context of sustainable farming and food security. The activity of the team is organized around understanding the factors that are responsible for the worldwide decline in bee populations, and the impact of this decline on biodiversity, and crop production. Multidisciplinary research is conducted, and focuses on different levels of understanding, including physiology, behaviour, ecology, pathology and toxicology. The scale of the study ranges from molecular biology to landscape ecology. Our projects aim at fundamental questions as well as at responding to society demand around socio-economics and agro-environmental challenges.

Group websiteFrench flag and the logo of the French National Institute for Agricultural Research.

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Partner 5: Guy Smagghe, Ghent University, Belgium

Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Department of Plants and Crops, Ghent University

Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Department of Plants and Crops, Ghent University

Group members:

Guy Smagghe - PI (photo),

Louella BuydensIvan Meeus

Group description:

Guy Smagghe has a main focus on the health of bees, bumblebees and other wild bees, in nature and agriculture, to guarantee their ecological/economic service of pollination. We invested heavily in molecular biology and applied ecology. More specific, molecular diagnostics of bee pathogens is the main focus, with over 10 yrs of experience in this specific field. Aside from state-of-the art pathogen disease diagnostics, we invested in the development of innovative bee health diagnostics and unbiased pathogens screening using large-datasets of NGS data, metagenomics and metabolomics. Different bioassays are available in assessing effects by pathogens and pesticides in lab and field-related conditions. Relevant projects on bee pathogens have been done in Europe, S-America and Africa. This team has a true pioneering position in the last 10-15 yrs and is now playing a forefront research leading role in Belgium, Europe and the world.

Group websiteBelgian flag and the logo of the Ghent University, Belgium.

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Partner 6: Michał Filipiak, Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland

Institute of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Biology, Jagiellonian University, Cracow

Institute of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Biology, Jagiellonian University, Cracow

Group members:

Michał Filipiak - independent researcher (photo)

Group description:

I use ecological stoichiometry to study the limitations imposed on organisms due to mismatches between their nutritional demands and the supply of nutrients in their environment. My work focuses on two examples of herbivore life histories shaped by the stoichiometries of their food, representing the extremes of feeding strategies: (1) nutrient-deficient dead wood exploited by xylophages and (2) nutrient-rich pollen used by bees. My current research activities concern sexual dimorphism in the nutritional needs of bees and the effects of taxonomically diverse floral resources on bees.

Group websitePolish flag and the logo of the Jagiellonian University, Poland.

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Self financed Partner A: Fabrice Requier - IRD, Paris, France

EGCE Lab (Evolution, Génomes, Comportement et Ecologie), UMR Université Paris-Saclay, CNRS, IRD, Gif-sur-Yvette

EGCE Lab (Evolution, Génomes, Comportement et Ecologie), UMR Université Paris-Saclay, CNRS, IRD, Gif-sur-Yvette

Group memebers:

Fabrice Requier - researcher (photo)

Group description:

I am a researcher with interest in agroecology and pollinator ecology. My research focuses on pollinator responses to changes in landscape structure, exposures to agrochemicals and pressures from (invasive) biotic factors, and the subsequent implications for biological conservation and ecosystem services. For this I generally combine the use of lab experiments, field monitoring and modelling techniques, and I have growing interest in inclusive socio-ecological approaches. My work is oriented towards applied perspectives including the development of decision-support tools for informing environmental policies and stakeholders.

Group websiteGerman flag and the logo of the University of Würzburg, Germany.

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Self financed Partner B: Michael Kuhlmann - Zoological Museum of Kiel University, Germany

Zoological Museum, Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel

Zoological Museum, Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel

Group members:

Michael Kuhlmann - researcher (photo)

Group description:

I am an entomologist working on solitary bees with a special interest in taxonomy, evolution ecology and biogeography as well as plant-pollinator interactions. Since 2015 I have been curator of the insect collections at the Zoological Museum of Kiel University (Germany), particularly of the historic beetle types of J.C. Fabricius (1745 – 1808). One of my main focal areas is collections-based research and mobilization of (genetic) data from museum specimens (“museomics”).

Group websiteGerman flag and the logo of the Zoological Museum of Kiel University, Germany.

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Self financed Partner C: Philip C. Stevenson - Royal Botanic Gardens and University of Greenwich, United Kingdom

1. Biological Chemistry and In Vitro Research, Natural Capital and Plant Health, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; 2. Chemical Ecology and Plant Biochemistry Group, Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich

1. Biological Chemistry and In Vitro Research, Natural Capital and Plant Health, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; 2. Chemical Ecology and Plant Biochemistry Group, Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich

Group members:

Phil Stevenson - PI (photo)

Group description:

Investigating the chemicals that mediate interactions between plants and insects has dominated my research career for over 25 years and particularly their qualitative and quantitative analysis and structural elucidation and how chemical mediated ecology can be understood to inform landscape ecology interventions and improve food production based on environmentally benign innovation. Here that interest continues my work on pollinator chemical ecology and the role of nectar and pollen chemistry for the health and well-being of bees in maintaining nutritional balance and reduced disease levels and is focused on how we can exploit our recent work on bee pollinator plant interactions and nutrition to better understand pollination service.

Group website 1 - Kew GardensBritish flag and the logo of the Royal Botanic Gardens, UK.

Group website 2 - University of GreenwichThe logo of the University of Greenwich, United Kingdom.

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Self financed Partner D: Evan Palmer-Young, University of California, Riverside, United States of America

Department of Entomology, College of Natural & Agricultural Sciences, University of California Riverside, USA

Department of Entomology, College of Natural & Agricultural Sciences, University of California Riverside, USA

Group members:

Evan Palmer-Young - Postdoctoral fellow (photo)

Group description:

Palmer-Young has experience in analysis of nectar and pollen phytochemistry and the effects of diet and dietary chemicals on bee-pathogen interactions. He led an international collaboration to characterize the secondary metabolites in a variety of wild, agricultural, and horticultural taxa, which is currently in press at Ecological Monographs. He has also worked extensively with bumble bee pathogens and their in vitro and in vivo susceptibility to nectar and pollen phytochemicals. His PhD project examined the effects of dietary phytochemicals and macronutrients on resistance of bumble bees to viral and protozoal infections; variation in phytochemical resistance among parasite strains; and combinatorial effects of multiple phytochemicals.

 

Group websiteAmerican (USA) flag and the logo of the University of California Riverside, USA.

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Self financed Partner E: Johann Neumayer, Austria

Freelance scientists

Freelance scientists

Group members:

Johann Neumayer - freelance scientist (photo)

Group description:

Johann Neumayer has unique expertise in the taxonomy, systematics and ecology of Austrian wild bees (especially Bombus). He is engaged and organizes several bee monitoring projects in Austria (e.g. BINATS), teaches bee systematics, coordinates a citizen science project as well as an education program on wild bee monitoring, and operates two databases on bee and flowering plant trait data. He has access to several high and low diversity site in Austria as well as to data on the composition and phenologies of flowering plants at these sites.

Austrian flag.

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