Professor joins national pollinator advisory group

Tuesday 10 December 2013
Professor Stephen Martin

Professor Stephen Martin from the School of Environment & Life Sciences has been appointed to the Pollinators Expert Advisory Group at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). 

The Pollinators Expert Advisory Group is an independent panel of experts brought together by Defra’s Chief Scientist Professor Ian Boyd to contribute to the development of the National Pollinator Strategy (NPS).

The group will review published evidence on the status of pollinators and pollination services and look to identify gaps in research where appropriate.

Bees (including solitary bees, bumble bees and honey bees) and other pollinators (such as hoverflies) provide an important service by pollinating crops and wild plants. They are valued for supporting biodiversity and ecosystem health. Pollinators also have an intrinsic cultural, aesthetic and social value that is appreciated by the public.

Declines in the health and populations of bees and other pollinators are seen globally as posing risks to biodiversity, long-term food security and ultimately human health. Pollinators in England potentially face many threats and there are growing concerns that these are leading to declines in diversity and the geographical range of some species.

The NPS will bring together pollinator-friendly initiatives and provide a coordinated approach to new action.

Professor Martin will draw on the 30 years he has spent studying honeybees to ensure that their role as pollinators is protected in the future.