Professor Nigel Raine

Rebanks Family Chair in Pollinator Conservation

Nigel Raine

Nigel is a global leader in the fields of animal behaviour, pollination ecology and pollinator conservation. He is the Rebanks Family Chair in Pollinator Conservation at the University of Guelph, a position endowed by The W. Garfield Weston Foundation. Nigel’s work combines internationally excellent research, significant engagement with policy-makers and other conservation-relevant stakeholder groups, and teaching the world’s first pollinator conservation course.

Nigel has been lucky enough to spend two decades investigating bees and their intimate relationships with flowers on three continents. Before moving to Canada in 2014, he studied at the University of Oxford, worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Sheffield and Queen Mary University of London, and held his first faculty position at Royal Holloway University of London – where he is also a visiting Professor.

Nigel has published more that 60 peer-reviewed articles, attracting over 3500 citations and achieved an H-index of 31 (see Google Scholar). He is an elected fellow of both the Royal Entomological Society (FRES) and the Linnean Society of London (FLS). In 2014, Nigel was recognized as a World Economic Forum Young Scientist – one of 40 “outstanding researchers under the age of 40 from around the globe pioneering new fields and leading in the pursuit of answers for global impact and the common good”.

For more on Nigel please see his recent Q&A piece for Current Biology.

Dr. Alana Pindar

Postdoctoral Research Fellow (2015-present)

Alana Pindar

Alana’s current research involves investigating the impacts of global change on wild bees: specifically, how stressors interact and which play the most significant roles in affecting wild bee populations. She recently led a comprehensive review to identify, prioritize and assess evidence from the peer-reviewed and grey literature and produce a report on the Status and Trends for Pollinator Health in Ontario for the Ontario Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). Alana was the 2016 recipient of the prestigious Webster Postdoctoral Fellowship in Environmental Sciences. She has a strong track record of fieldwork, sampling wild bees and pollinators throughout her MSc and PhD studies. Alana is a skilled taxonomist with expertise identifying the wild bees of Ontario and Eastern Canada, an invaluable asset to the provincial pollinator monitoring work of the Raine lab.

Susan Chan

PhD Student (2016-present)

Susan ChanSusan is presently pursuing her Ph.D., studying the agro-ecology of the native squash bee (Peponapis pruinosa) in Ontario, with special emphasis on the effects of common agricultural practices (including pesticide exposure) on the health of squash bee populations. She works extensively on farms to implement on-the-ground projects that support native pollinators. Susan has an academic background in agriculture, education, and pollination biology and is the author of A Landowner’s Guide to Conserving Native Pollinators in Ontario, is the recipient of the 2016-17 George and Lois Whetham Scholarship in Food Systems. Concurrently with her studies, Susan manages the Native Pollinator Program for Farms at Work, a not-for profit project in central Ontario. She lectures in the Sustainable Agriculture programs at both Trent University and Fleming College, and is the proud owner of Ten for Joy, a property in Selwyn, Ontario dedicated to conservation agriculture.

Harry Rusnock

MSc Student (2015-present)

Harry RusnockHarry is interested in the behavioural aspects of insect-plant interactions, particularly as it relates to bees and pollination systems. His MSc research involves assessing individual and colony variation in learning and memory performance, and responses to novelty in the bumblebee Bombus impatiens, with the ultimate goal of clarifying the relationship between these cognitive traits and fitness under natural conditions. Harry is also investigating cognitive differences between wild and commercially bred bumblebee populations. He is the recipient of a 2016-17 Ontario Graduate Scholarship award.

Claire Rubens

MSc student (2016-present)

Claire RubinsClaire is in her first year of the Environmental Sciences MSc program, where she is focusing on wild bee conservation. Her research is examining potential long-term changes in both wild bee communities and plant-pollinator interaction networks across a number of sites in the Caledon region of Ontario. Claire is also heavily involved in the wider lab project monitoring wild pollinator populations at sites across Ontario.

Kayla Mundy

MSc student (2017-present)

Kayla MundyKayla is in her first year of a MSc thesis, studying interactive effects of pesticides on the life cycle of bumblebees. She is particularly interested in expanding current end-point assessments of pesticide toxicity to bumblebees and has a host of broader interests including pollinator ecology, interactive stressors in the environment, integrative pest management and agri-environment schemes.


Kyra Lightburn

MSc student (2017-present)

Kyra LightburnKyra is particularly interested in researching how agro-ecosystem management impacts native pollinator communities, and how best to conserve biodiversity and pollination services in agricultural landscapes. Her MSc research is co-supervised by Profs. Ralph Martin (Department of Plant Agriculture) and Nigel Raine (School of Environmental Sciences), and she holds a Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship in Science & Technology and a University of Guelph Graduate Entrance Excellence Scholarship. Previously, Kyra completed a BSc in Agricultural Science at the University of Guelph and a BA in English at McGill University.

Emily Agar

BSc student (2016-present)

Emily AgarEmily is a BSc student in Wildlife Biology and Conservation with a minor in Geographical Information Systems. She is currently researching the effects of land use on population dynamics of wild bee communities in Caledon county, and has also been heavily involved in the lab’s comprehensive wild pollinator monitoring project throughout Ontario.


Amanda Merchant

BSc Student (2016-present)

Amanda MerchantAmanda is BSc student in Wildlife Biology and Conservation with a minor in Neuroscience. She is cataloguing and identifying pollinators from the provincial monitoring project, and has previous field experience in field crops.




Ellen Richard

BSc student (2016-present)

Ellen RichardEllen is a BSc student in Zoology working as a team member of the lab Ontario wild pollinator monitoring project. She has experience sampling flower visitors in orchards and horticulture crops (with OMAFRA) and molecular ecology methods studying Neotropical ant communities.