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Sustainable Production

Dr David Pattemore

Science Group Leader, Productive Biodiversity & Pollination

I'm an ecologist and pollination biologist with a joint appointment at the University of Auckland and Plant & Food Research, and I am also the Director of the Joint Graduate School in Plant and Food Science. At Plant & Food Research I lead the Productive Biodiversity & Pollination science group; a group of researchers with expertise in bee biology, crop pollination, the biology of pollinating insects, and the ecosystem services insects provide. My own research focuses on understanding the dynamics of pollination systems by integrating across the diverse fields of floral biology, pollinator biology and behaviour, and ecology. I have primarily worked in crop systems such as avocado, kiwifruit, and stonefruit, working on research questions to deliver benefits to crop industries and beekeepers. I also have research interests in fundamental questions about the evolution and ecology of pollination and other critical ecosystem functions, and the effects of humans and novel interactions between native & exotic species on these functions. My postgraduate students are working on diverse projects such as investigating impacts of pesticides on native bees, moths as pollinators of crops, developing methods to measure competitive stress in honey bees, how invertebrate diversity is affected by native plantings, and the behaviour and conservation of NZ bat species. I’ve led teams to develop new technologies, including an automated radio telemetry system for small, fast-moving animals, which is a globally unique tool to deliver deeper insights into animal movement and behaviour, and new rearing system for bumble bee colonies that reduces the cost of bumble bee pollination.