The importance of pollinators and pollination

Pollinators such as bees, flies, birds, butterflies and moths provide vital pollination services to wild plants and to agricultural crops:

  • Almost 90% of the approximately 352,000 species of flowering plants rely on these animals to produce their seeds. These plants in turn are the primary producers on which other animals and fungi depend, and from which we gain a wide range of “ecosystem services” including carbon storage, flood alleviation, and medicines and other products.
  • Three quarters of the world’s major food crops require pollinators to increase their yields of seeds, nuts and fruit, accounting for about 30% of worldwide agricultural output worth hundreds of billions of dollars every year.

Pollinators are therefore critically important to both wild nature and human society.

This relationship between flowers and the animals that help them reproduce has been the focus of my work for over 30 years. During that time I’ve carried out original research and advisory work, and written extensively on the topic of biodiversity, particularly of pollinators and pollination. My research has appeared in some of the most prestigious scientific journals, including Nature, Science, Ecology, Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics, and Ecology Letters. Articles aimed at a wider audience have been published in BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine, British Wildlife, The Plantsman, Dark Mountain, Bees & Other Pollinators Quarterly, 2 Million Blossoms, Asklepios, and New Scientist. My recent book Pollinators & Pollination: Nature and Society is likewise written for anyone interested in the subject.

What I’ve learned over this time is that many of our pollinators are declining, along with much of the rest of the world’s biodiversity. In my role as an independent consultant scientist and author I use the latest research findings to advise organisations and individuals on how to manage and restore their land to support the greatest diversity and abundance of pollinators, and how research teams can achieve the greatest impact from their work. Welcome to my website!

On this site you can find out more about the work that I do and the services that I offer, and get in touch via the Contact page.