Nectar production and quality for honey bee products

Understanding the physiology of nectar production will help the beekeeping industry produce more and better honey

We have an exciting opportunity and a PhD scholarship for pioneering research into nectar production in Western Australian native plant species.

The Australian Research Council recently awarded funding for the Cooperative Research Centre for Honey Bee Products, which is an interdisciplinary centre where researchers work closely with industry partners.

In one line of research, we will assess the potential of Western Australian Leptospermum species to support the production of high-value medicinal honey similar to the New Zealand manuka honey.

This requires us to understand what factors determine the volume and quality of nectar produced by flowers of Leptospermum species.

The project will include the quantification of environmental effects on growth, flowering, sink-source relationships and related processes.

We will make use of whole-plant as well as tissue-level ecophysiological approaches, and possibly also organic chemistry and microscopy.

For more background information, see the suggested readings below.

Research team leader: Associate Professor Erik Veneklaas

I am a Plant Physiological Ecologist in the UWA School of Agriculture and Environment and the School of Biological Sciences at UWA. My research into plant adaptations to their environment aims to contribute to various outcomes, including species conservation, ecological restoration, and sustainable high crop productivity. My projects focus on plant functional traits, photosynthesis, growth, water relations and nutrition.

PhD opportunities

Interested in becoming part of this project? Complete the following steps to submit your expression of interest:

Step 1 - Check criteria

General UWA PhD entrance requirements can be found on the Future Students website.

Requirements specific to this project include:

  • Applicants must have skills in ecophysiology relevant to the project, and may be required to do field work outside Perth

Step 2 - Submit enquiry to research team leader

Step 3 - Lodge application

After you have discussed your project with the research team leader, you should be in a position to proceed to the next step of the UWA application process: Lodge an applicationDifferent application procedures apply to domestic and international students.


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