Dr Stephanie Dreier
Postdoctoral Research Assistant
Dr Dreier has now left ZSL.
- May 2011-2013: Postdoctoral Research Assistant (BBSRC-funded), Institute of Zoology.
- Feb-Apr 2011: Research Assistant, Institute of Zoology.
- 2008: Research Assistant, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
- 2005-2008: Marie Curie PhD Student, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
- 2000-2005: BSc and MSc Biology, University of Lausanne, Switzerland.
I am interested in ecology and conservation. In particular, my research focuses on the fine-scale spatial genetic structure of several UK bumblebees, and addresses causes of decline by comparing declining and widespread species.
Investigating the impact of habitat structure on queen and worker bumblebees in the field (Insect Pollinator Initiative).
Bumblebees are wild bees that live in colonies of at most a few hundred workers and a single queen. We know they need safe nesting sites and lots of flowers. But we don’t know how the distribution of nesting and foraging habitats across a landscape, or habitat structure, affects in detail how nest-searching queens or foraging workers use these habitats. I analyse DNA from live wild bees to construct probable sibship relationships for queens and workers collected from multiple patches across a common agricultural landscape. These data will be coupled with GIS models of the landscape to estimate how far queens fly to start new nests and how far workers fly to forage. The study focuses on five different species including the rare Bombus ruderatus, a UK Biodiversity Action Plan species. Because the English study landscape contains wildflower strips sown alongside fields especially to attract pollinators, the research will help farmers and conservationists decide how such schemes can be made as effective as possible.
Collaborators: Seirian Sumner and Jinliang Wang (IoZ), Claire Carvell and Matt Heard (Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Wallingford), and Andrew Bourke (University of East Anglia).
Future direct fitness payoffs in the primitively eusocial wasp Polistes canadensis.
The primitively eusocial wasps have no distinct social classes that differ in appearance, and any female has the option to achieve reproductive status. In temperate species, many cooperatively nesting wasps form dominance hierarchies in which individuals queue to inherit the egg-layer position, yet little is known on queen succession in tropical species. We investigate how future reproductive payoffs influence the costs a female is prepared to incur during queen supercedure in the tropical eusocial wasp P. canadensis. We further examine the effect of queen loss on the interaction network.
Collaborators: Seirian Sumner (IoZ), Richard James and Nicholas Priest (University of Bath), Solenn Patalano (University of Cambridge), Thibault Lengronne (University of Lausanne, Switzerland).
L. Holman*, S. Dreier* and P. D’Ettorre (2010) Selfish strategies and honest signalling: reproductive conflicts in ant queen associations. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 277, 2007-2015 (*joint first authors)
S.P.A. den Boer, B. Baer, B., S. Dreier, D.R. Nash, S. Aron and J.J. Boomsma (2009) Prudent sperm use by leaf-cutter ant queens. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 276, 3945–3953
J.S. Van Zweden*, S. Dreier* and P. D’Ettorre (2009) Disentangling environmental and heritable nestmate recognition cues in a carpenter ant. Journal of Insect Physiology 55, 158–163 (*joint first authors)
S. Dreier and P. D’Ettorre. (2009) Social context predicts recognition systems in ant queens. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22, 644–649
S. Dreier, J.S. Van Zweden and P. D’Ettorre (2007) Long term memory of individual recognition in ant queens. Biology Letters 17, 459–462