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University of Guelph: British Bee Expert to Lead Pollinator Research

By Amanda Brodhagen,

Nigel Raine, a leading expert in pollination conservation from Britain will join the University of Guelph in May 2014. 

Raine is currently a researcher at the School of Biological Sciences at Royal Holloway University of London. After a yearlong search, Raine was named as the Rebanks Family Chair in Pollinator Conservation.

The University of Guelph chose Raine for his work in pollinator behaviour, and research on the impacts of pesticides on bees. Guelph hopes Raine will be able to play a pivotal role in informing public policy, something that he has experience doing in the U.K.

In Canada alone, it’s been estimated that about 28 species of butterflies and moths, along with two bee species are classified as at risk. Pollinators play a critical role in the country’s food system, and about 80 per cent of crops are dependent on pollination.

The chair position is funded by a $3 million gift from the W. Garfield Weston Foundation, in the name of Wendy Rebanks, daughter of Garfield Weston and one of the foundation’s directors.

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