Bee Friendly Farming - Farm Technical Liaison Officer
Lea Hannah is a pollination biologist fascinated by all aspects of plant-pollinator interactions and improving biodiversity within both natural and agricultural landscapes. Lea is a PhD candidate at Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment at Western Sydney University. The main aim of her research is to quantify the potential benefits of supplementary floral resources on honeybee health.
Lea has extensive experience (2007-2018) as a researcher in the vegetable seed production industry working with honey bees, developing alternative pollinators (native bees and flies) and mechanical pollination systems to improve seed production.
Prior to her PhD, Lea completed an honours degree at Monash University (2017) resulting in two publications: Fly pollination drives convergence of flower coloration 30/08/2021 New Phytologist and Psychophysics of the hoverfly: categorical or continuous color discrimination? 15/03/2019
Yolanda is an entomologist and ecologist interested in insect-plant interactions and their conservation. Yolanda is a PhD candidate with the Invertebrate Behaviour and Ecology lab at the University of Sydney. The main aim of her research is to investigate how more targeted floral resources management in areas used for food-production (rural, urban) can be used to promote varied functional groups of beneficial insects (pollinators, pest controlling) and conservation efforts.
Yolanda has a strong interest on promoting and conserving insect diversity in the agricultural landscapes, both through the establishment of habitat and essential resources and in engaging the public by collaborating with others on science out-reach and citizen science projects.
Prior to starting her PhD, Yolanda conducted research and worked in the field of agricultural ecological restoration with Greening Australia. This included an honours project with the Centre for Forest Values in Tasmania, looking at the role of seed predation in direct seeding of native shrubs and trees on farms. Yolanda experience has taught her both the critical importance, hard work and rewards of bringing back native vegetation.