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Dr Dylan Smith - Was a NERC PhD student in the group, and now works for Springer-Nature

Dylan was interested in how environmental factors place stress on insect pollinator behaviour. For his PhD he investigated how pesticide exposure impacts on individual learning using behavioural assays and linking this with changes at the physiological level.

His primary aim was to understand how pesticide exposure affects the morphology of key brain structures of the bumblebee Bombus terrestris at key developmental and life stages.

Accompanying these studies, he looked to elucidate whether such exposure affects learning performances and link to any impairment with structural changes found in the brain.


Rother L, Kraft N, Smith DB, el Jundi B, Gill RJ & Pfeiffer K (2021) A micro-CT based standard brain atlas of the bumblebee. Cell & Tissue Research, 386, 29-45

Smith DB, Arce AN, Ramos Rodrigues A, Bischoff PH, Burris D, Ahmed F & Gill RJ (2020) Insecticide exposure during brood or early-adult development reduces brain growth and impairs adult learning in bumblebees. Proc. Roy. Soc. B, 287, 20192442

Smith DB, Bernhardt G, Raine NE, Abel RL, Sykes D, Ahmed F, Pedroso I & Gill RJ (2016) Exploring miniature insect brains using micro-CT scanning techniques. Scientific Reports, 6, 21768

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