The Ecological Impacts of Radiation on Terrestrial Invertebrates using Laboratory and Field Studies
This PhD project aims to resolve controversy in radioecology where effects have been measured in the laboratory at much higher radiation levels than in the field. Previously, laboratory studies have used very high ranges of doses administered over a short period of time to infer what may happen in contaminated landscapes such as Chernobyl or Fukushima. In this project we will use a combination of administering environmentally relevant dose rates in the laboratory and field studies in Chernobyl, Ukraine, to bridge this gap. Bumblebees were chosen for this project because they deliver ecosystem services in way of pollination, they are a reference animal for radiological protection and their eusociality means that alterations to life history characteristics, such as reproduction and longevity can be detected.